If you are considering a wager on any Philadelphia 76ers futures odds for the coming #NBA season – and the full regular-season schedule will be released this week – you may want to wait to see how the James Harden situation plays out because he is setting fire to that organization right now as he tries to force a trade to the LA Clippers.
How well did #BrotheryLove president Daryl Morey get along with Harden while both were in Houston (Morey as GM)? As fast friends. So much so that when Morey left the Rockets in 2020, he took out a full-page ad in the newspaper that had a picture of Harden and Morey and this five-word sentence in bold: "James Harden changed my life." And of course, Morey eventually traded for Harden from Brooklyn to bring to the City of Brotherly Love.
Morey has tried to grant Harden’s trade request but hasn’t gotten an offer to his liking. Other teams know that he has very little leverage. The Sixers agreed to search out a trade after Harden agreed to pick up his $35.6 million player option in June. Harden isn’t making it easy by trying to be sent to the Clippers only, who frankly don’t have a ton the Sixers want because neither Paul George nor Kawhi Leonard is being dealt (or can stay healthy).
Over the weekend, it was reported the Sixers were pulling Harden off the trade market and would bring him to camp. Apparently they don’t remember how an unhappy Harden wrecked the Rockets and Nets? The former league MVP was decidedly unhappy, to say the least, when he learned there would be no trade (it was surely just Morey trying for some leverage). He will not be going to Sixers camp, either.
"Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he's a part of," Harden said during an Adidas media event in China on Monday. "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."
Philadelphia is currently set at over-under 49.5 regular-season wins for 2023-24. They won 54 games last year with Harden playing 58 games and averaging 21.0 points, 10.7 assists and 6.1 rebounds per game and certainly playing a role in Joel Embiid winning his first MVP. Know this, though: The Sixers were 15-9 in the games Harden missed.
We do know one Sixers game before the schedule release: They are currently +1.5 at Miami for Christmas Day, but that’s very much in flux. Will the Heat have Damian Lillard by then via trade? The SBIA Model currently gives Philly a 50.7% chance of winning but, again, that’s with Harden on Philly and no Lillard on the #HEATCulture and is only a current projection.
Here are the NBA's 2023 Christmas Day games and current SBIA projections, obviously very subject to change:
Bucks @ Knicks
Bucks: +106 (45.93% win probability)
Knicks: -129 (54.07% win probability)
76ers @ Heat
76ers: -113 (50.67% win probability)
Heat: -107 (49.33% win probability)
Celtics @ Lakers
Celtics: -116 (51.43% win probability)
Lakers: -104 (48.57% win probability)
Mavericks @ Suns
Mavericks: +162 (35.68% win probability)
Suns: -198 (64.32% win probability)
Warriors @ Nuggets
Warriors: +120 (42.93% win probability)
Nuggets: -146 (57.07% win probability)