NBA

'I'm here' - Harden offers no long-term assurances about his future in Philadelphia

By Sports Desk December 25, 2022

Philadelphia 76ers point guard James Harden did not deny the report that he is mulling a potential return to the Houston Rockets while addressing the comments after his side's 119-112 Christmas Day win against the New York Knicks.

The 76ers received terrific performances from both Harden, with 29 points (seven-of-16 shooting) and 13 assists, as well as back-to-back MVP runner-up Joel Embiid, who scored a team-high 35 points (12-of-22) with eight rebounds.

But despite improving their winning streak to eight games, the biggest news from the day was the report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski claiming Harden is seriously considering leaving Philadelphia at the end of this season to head back to his former team.

His contract includes a player-option for next season, meaning he can opt out and become an unrestricted free agent.

Harden reportedly has fond memories of his time with the Rockets – where he won three consecutive scoring titles and one league MVP – despite forcing his way out of the franchise just two seasons ago

When asked about the report during his post-game media appearance, Harden made no long-term commitment to the 76ers, simply saying he is "excited" to be in Philadelphia.

"I'm here," he said. "We're playing very well, and I don’t know where that report came from, but I’m excited to be here, and we're playing very well. We're continuing to get better."

Harden is currently leading the NBA in assists at 10.9 per game, and has looked back to his All-NBA level recently, including in Friday's win over the Los Angeles Clippers where his triple-double included a career-high 21 assists.

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