That escalated quickly: How the Harden-Morey situation intensified

James Harden, Daryl Morey, Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images).
James Harden, Daryl Morey, Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images). /

We are potentially witnessing the most intense starring contest in NBA history develop between the two figures immensely at the forefront of these schemes. James Harden and his biggest advocate and campaigner, Daryl Morey. We await the next blink, and one of ESPN’s prominent voices conducted the puzzle at the origin, knowing how uncalled for this was.

Recently fined for the comments, it was reported that Harden’s labeling of Morey as a liar came from the president’s promise to quickly move him following the opt-in. The NBA had launched an investigation into the 2018 MVP’s “admonishment,” as Woj called it, of Morey to his campers in China.

Not only is Morey known for his admiration for Harden’s analytical intelligence and thunderous, unexpected trades, but his negotiating may get in the way. There have been historical examples of his experiments failing chemistry-wise, with Morey not always holding up his end of the bargain. Some whispers of tampering warnings were received on the 76ers’ end last summer. They gave Harden a short-term, team-friendly deal for financial flexibility, with Philly maximizing his comfort by adding former Rockets teammates.

How the Harden-Morey situation intensified.

Many have been assuming Morey initially promised an extension to Harden as well as the instant move following his request. Harden, from the start of the season, was periodically rumored as a reminder of his desire for a reunion in Houston.

Basketball encyclopedia Bill Simmons stated his popular perspective on a likely situation that could have happened on his famous podcast. First, questioned the Rockets rumor’s existence if there was any promise on a long-term deal last summer, and then read through what went down.

"“It’s not wanting to win a title; let’s say that he just wants to maximize his earnings over the next three years. The No. 1 choice to do so is to play good basketball for the Philadelphia 76ers this season, and there’s a huge gap before you get to No. 2. A huge gap. So it’s like, even if it’s not about winning a title, which is like, as fans, it’s what we want players to care about the most, let’s say he’s like, ‘I’m trying to get as much money because I see the twilight of my career; there is only one real option there; and that is to play good, hard basketball for Philadelphia.” David Jacoby, momentarily following that Simmons statement on The Bill Simmons Podcast"

And as Jacoby identified, there is a whole other angle to this for Philadelphia in Joel Embiid. Occurrences led to delays over and over internally with Ben Simmons; the Jimmy Butler thing did not work out, and now Harden. As all this continues, consecutively, another winter and spring pass of Embiid’s dominance, getting beaten up with his wear and tear leading to his injury-riddled postseason timelines come their everlasting round two ceiling.

How is that going to work with his No. 2 star holding out again? His slight hubbub about wanting to win no matter the destination amongst all of this, altering his typical passion for Philadelphia, is certainly something for experts and executives to monitor through his contract’s remainder.

That No. 2 option for Harden is way larger of a fall than one would imagine, as Jacoby states. His party does not really have any breathing room either, acknowledging league outsiders and executives witnessing his third saga of organizational destruction. James will also be 35 next August, voicing damaged Achilles’ issues aside from his reputation and the way his season has commonly concluded every May.

Harden opted into the final year of his contract, understanding his frail free-agent market. We are now two months into it being unveiled via trade interest, forcing Morey to end any sort of auctioning. Harden was likely promised long-term security when he took his $14 million last summer as his old friends came along. Through the Houston rumors, tied with his routined semifinal flake-out, Morey developed different scenarios as there was no loyalty in return.

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Senior Yahoo Sports NBA writer Vincent Goodwill recently stated that Harden has been in conversation with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. The trio is on the same page with the Beard’s aspiration to play for the Clippers.