James Harden just hired a new agent. What does this mean for the Sixers? Does this make a reunion in Houston more or less likely?
According to Shams Charania, James Harden has hired a new agent. He hasn’t had an agent since 2017 and was represented by himself. The All-NBA player will now be represented by Troy Payne of Equity Basketball. This may signal that Harden will not take a one-year deal with whatever teams he signs with in free agency this offseason as he did this season (with a player option that he will likely decline unless he suffers a serious injury.)
How the 76ers fare in the postseason may dictate his willingness to return and Philadelphia’s willingness to pay and bring him back, hiring full-time representation clearly points signals to him that he’s expecting some serious negotiations.
What happens if James Harden doesn’t re-sign with the Philadelphia 76ers?
The 7ers are still in a solid position to surround Embild with a second star if Harden leaves. The All-NBA center is under contract for the next three years which gives them plenty of time to get another all-NBA player before the center might try to request a trade. Philly might not even have to acquire a second star the way Tyrese Maxey has been growing as a player.
As Adrian Wojnarowski reported at Christmas, Harden is considering the Rockets as a “serious” option this offseason. While Houston has a young core of Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun, Jabari Smith, and other players on rookie contracts, they could choose to speed up their rebuild by offering Harden the full max that he is looking for.
The Sixers are third in the East and, minus questionable coaching decisions by Doc Rivers and bad injury luck from Embiid, could be primed to make a run for a ring. Still, the shadow of Harden leaving this summer hangs over this franchise. Whether the Sixers offer Harden a full-max is still up for debate but after hiring new representation it seems that Harden will be seeking a big deal.
Check out The Step Back for more news, analysis, opinion and unique basketball coverage. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Instagram and subscribe to our daily email newsletter, The Whiteboard.