‣ James Harden returned to the Philadelphia 76ers after 10 days away but will be out for at least the first two games of the season.
‣ Harden has not practiced with the team since October 15 and will work with the team development staff to prepare for games once the team returns from their trip.
‣ Harden has been seeking a trade since picking up his $35.6 million player option and was fined $100,000 for his comments about Sixers president of basketball operations, Daryl Morey.
James Harden hasn’t practiced with Sixers since October 15 and plan is allowing him to stay at Camden practice facility and work with team development staff to get the live action necessary to get him playing games once Sixers return from Milwaukee-Toronto trip, sources said.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn)
James Harden has made his return to the Philadelphia 76ers after a 10-day absence from the team. However, the 10-time All-Star will be sidelined for at least the first two games of the 2023-24 NBA season. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Harden has not practiced with the Sixers since October 15 and the team’s plan is to have him work with the development staff to prepare for his return to game action once the team returns from their Milwaukee-Toronto trip. This comes as a result of Harden seeking a trade since exercising his $35.6 million player option for this season.
Last week, it was announced that Harden would face a fine of $389,082 for each regular season game missed without the team’s consent. The fine falls under the category of “failure to render services.” Additionally, he would also be subject to a minimum fine of $2,500 for any missed practices. Harden had already skipped practice multiple times and even missed the final preseason game before his return.
Despite Harden’s absence and trade requests, the Sixers are still considered contenders in the upcoming season. Several NBA betting sites rank them with the ninth-shortest odds to win the championship in 2024. However, better odds are given to teams like the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, and Miami Heat.
Harden’s relationship with Sixers president of basketball operations, Daryl Morey, has contributed to the tension within the organization. In August, Harden was fined $100,000 by the NBA for publicly calling Morey a liar and expressing his unwillingness to be a part of an organization with him. Harden’s remarks were made during an Adidas event in China.
As the 76ers prepare for their games against the Bucks and Raptors, James Harden remains the only player listed on the team’s injury report. The sportsbooks currently show Philadelphia as a 5.5-point underdog against Milwaukee. Harden’s return to the court will be eagerly anticipated by fans and analysts, as his presence could have a significant impact on the team’s performance this season.