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Sixers stop trade talks for James Harden; former MVP plans to skip camp: report

Gallen of Questions Podcast, Ep. 24: Jake Fischer, Jonathan Tannenwald
Gallen of Questions Podcast, Ep. 24: Jake Fischer, Jonathan Tannenwald 25:59

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- For the second time in Joel Embiid's tenure with the Sixers, his running mate doesn't plan to report to training camp after demanding a trade earlier this summer. 

The Sixers have ended trade talks involving disgruntled guard James Harden, according to a report from The Athletic, as the team hopes to bring him back to compete for an NBA championship alongside Embiid. 

But The Athletic also notes that Harden, a former MVP and 10-time All-Star, "has no plans of taking part in training camp." Training camp opens for NBA teams at the end of September. 

It's only the middle of August, things can change, but Harden has maintained throughout the summer that he doesn't want to be in Philadelphia after he opted into his deal and requested a trade in late June. 

Trade talks between the Sixers and Los Angeles Clippers, Harden's preferred destination, "have clearly been stagnant," according to The Athletic. 

The request is the third time Harden has requested a trade in his career after he left the Houston Rockets and Brooklyn Nets. And as The Athletic notes, Harden has no issues causing a ruckus with hopes to play elsewhere: 

"From his aforementioned Rockets exit to the Brooklyn bail-out that followed, the team that refused to grant Harden's trade wishes learned the hard way that he's quite good at staring contests. His discontent has revealed itself in many forms during these past few years — most famously with his party tour through Las Vegas and Atlanta before he finally joined Rockets training camp — and Harden has yet to comply when a team has tried to convince him to reverse course on a trade request."  

This marks the second time Daryl Morey has had to deal with a disgruntled running mate of Embiid not reporting for training camp. In the 2021-22 season, Ben Simmons demanded a trade and he wasn't dealt until the middle of the season before the trade deadline in a deal that landed Harden in Philly. 

Will it take that long to eventually deal Harden? Time will tell, but we've seen before that Morey is willing to get uncomfortable and wait on trades until he gets fair value. 

The relationship between Morey and Harden has reportedly "severed" after the veteran guard was upset with how the Sixers handled his free agency, especially after he took a pay cut in order for the team to sign P.J. Tucker and Danuel House Jr last year.   

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