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James Harden Next Team Odds: Sixers' Odds Tumble After 'Liar' Comments

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 6 mins

James Harden Next Team Odds: Sixers' Odds Tumble After 'Liar' Comments

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There’s no denying the impact of James Harden, pound for pound one of the more gifted offensive players in NBA history. There’s also no denying that the 10-time All-Star has never won an NBA title and forced trades out of two cities to be part of super teams, only to come up short each time. 

Now it appears he's about to force his way off a third team. Harden picked up a $35.6 million player option for 2023-24, and simultaneously requested a trade out of Philly. More recently, the Sixers put a halt to Harden trade talks due to a lack of traction (nothing materialized with the Clippers, the L.A. native's preferred destination).

And Harden went scorched earth. 

"Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he's a part of," Harden said Aug. 14 during an Adidas media event in China. "Let me say that again: Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he's a part of."

76ers training camp has opened, Media Day came and went, and still no Harden. With the season on the cusp of Opening Night, Bookies.com oddsmaker Adam Thompson has updated his hypothetical NBA odds as to where Harden plays next season. 

James Harden 2023-24 Team Odds

TeamOddsImplied Probability
Philadelphia 76ers+11047.6%
Los Angeles Clippers+50016.7%
Miami Heat+65013.3%
Portland Trail Blazers+10009.1%
No Team/International Team+10009.1%
Minnesota Timberwolves+15006.3%
Los Angeles Lakers+20004.8%
The Field+70012.5%

Odds are projected and do not reflect any odds that may be available on legal betting apps.

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Harden last season missed out on an All-Star game berth for the first time in over a decade. He played in only 58 games and averaged 21.0 ppg, his lowest scoring output since the 2011-12 season. Harden, paired with NBA MVP Joel Embiid couldn't lead the Philadelphia 76ers out of the second round of the NBA Playoffs, falling in seven games to the rival Boston Celtics. 

Harden's scoring was down but he embraced the Robin role to Embiid’s Batman. His shooting percentage was the highest in four years, his 3-point shooting mark was the best since 2012, and he led the NBA in assists. 

We saw what he’s still capable of from a scoring perspective in Game 1 of the second-round series vs. the Celtics. Without Embiid, Harden exploded for 45 points in an upset win at TD Garden. He was also extremely inconsistent, and we saw that in the series vs. Boston. In Philly’s three wins, Harden averaged 34.6 ppg on 60.7% shooting. In the four defeats, 12.5 ppg on 21.8% shooting. 

Harden turned 34 on Aug. 26. Is that too old to be the Alpha on a contending NBA team? Would Harden be OK being the No. 2 option on a contender, as he is (or was) in Philly? 

The Sixers were still hoping Harden would return to the team. But he's nowhere to be found, and the season begins Oct. 26 with a showdown against the Milwaukee Bucks. 

That said, Philly owns his rights (it was a player option, one that Harden accepted). If Harden doesn't show for more than 30 days, the contract perpetually continues. 

“He’s not here today,” team president Daryl Morey said at the team's Media Day earlier this month. “He continues to seek a trade and we’re working with his representation to resolve that in the best way for the 76ers and hopefully all parties."

Harden did show up on Sunday, but hasn't attending any team preseason games and has since ghosted the team, reportedly going back to his home in Houston. 

Meanwhile, most teams have their rosters figured out. Only three teams have more than $500,000 in cap space, one one of them more than $7.5 million (Utah Jazz). Harden's cap hit for 2023-24 is $35.6 million. 

So it's come down to this. ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski said there has been "no traction" on a trade with any team, including the Clippers, the preferred destination. 

If he refuses to play in Philly and no other NBA team is showing interest, his next best option might be entirely outside the league and the country. 

The Clippers inked PG Russell Westbrook to a two-year deal over the Fourth of July weekend. Still, L.A. appears to be the lone team that was, if only casually, talking with Philly about acquiring Harden. The asking price should be coming down as the season draws nearer. 

The two teams reportedly have stayed in contact, but neither team seems willing to budge on their offer. It's a stalemate to see who blinks first. 

But no other team seems interested enough to even engage in talks at this time. 

The Portland Trail Blazers jettisoned Damian Lillard to Milwaukee and may be enticed by a buy-low star to play inside-out with the recently acquired Deandre Ayton. The Minnesota Timberwolves were considering moving on from PG Mike Conley Jr. but brought him back. Both teams stuck with their guy after free agency, but each player could be the start, from a position and salary perspective, of a conversation that leads to a blockbuster transaction. 

Speaking of buying low, the Miami Heat tried to get Lillard for a package including Tyler Herro. They also failed in getting Jrue Holiday. What may not work for Portland in a potential deal for Lillard may suddenly work for Philadelphia and Harden. 

The Los Angeles Lakers brought back PG D'Angelo Russell, but he's inconsistent. L.A. could still certainly use a ball-handler and a sharp-shooter the caliber of Harden. Harden checks both boxes better than anyone on the market. A trade there still gets Harden to his preferred market. 

The Field is led by a plethora of other teams who could see Harden as the final piece of yet-another superteam or a squad with trade chips and the drive to get a final piece and over a hump. That includes the New Orleans Pelicans, Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic and Chicago Bulls. 

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About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.