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Reportedly awaiting a trade, Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden remained away from the team for the second straight day Thursday, October 19.
The Sixers said Harden’s absence Thursday was due to a personal matter.
“I think the organization has made it clear what’s going on,” coach Nick Nurse said. “They’re working on stuff, as we say, day by day. We had a really good practice today. Very energetic. The guys that were here, that’s what we’re focused on.”
Harden, who has yet to play this preseason, has voiced his desire to be traded to the Los Angeles Clippers as the third star on the team, joining Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
The Sixers and Clippers were unable to make any progress on trade talks during the summer, but The Athletic reported Tuesday that the two sides are in trade talks.
Harden, 34, already has been paid half of the $35.64 million due to him this year – a prepayment option many players choose to take – according to ESPN. He is scheduled to become a free agent after the season.
Harden attended training camp and practiced with the team, but said last week that his relationship with team president Daryl Morey was irreparable.
“It’s been ongoing for a long time now,” Nurse said. “I’ve got a job to do with the guys that are here and we just go to work. If that changes, we’ll adjust. That’s what we do.”
A 14-year veteran who has played for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Nets and 76ers, Harden has career averages of 24.7 points, 7.0 assists and 5.6 rebounds in 1,000 games (786 starts). He led the league in scoring three times, and last year, his 10.7 assists per game were the most in the NBA.
A 10-time All-Star, Harden was the league’s Most Valuable Player in the 2017-2018 season. – Rappler.com