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"The 76ers have to trade James Harden" - Former NBA champion gives a brutal verdict on James Harden-Philadelphia 76ers situation

James Harden No. 1 of the Philadelphia 76ers.
James Harden No. 1 of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Charles Eluemuno

The Philadelphia 76ers have a decision to make this summer regarding a contract extension for James Harden. Former NBA champ Antoine Walker believes they should trade him.

Harden is due for contract talks even though he has a $47 million player option for the 2022-23 season.

The Brooklyn Nets were reportedly willing to offer him a four-year $227 million contract extension, but the All-Star guard said he wanted to experience free agency at least once in his career.

If Harden decides to opt out, he will become a free agent. He is unlikely to do so if there is no offer from the Sixers for an extension.

Speaking on First "Things First" with Chris Broussard, Nick Wright, Jenna Wolfe, and Kevin Wildes, Walker is 100% convinced that Harden needs to leave Philly if the organization is to succeed. He said:

"I was on the show and watched you guys say the Lakers have to trade (Russell) Westbrook. The Sixers gotta trade James Harden. I'm not worried about him opting to his deal. You have to trade James Harden.
"He's not a great locker room guy, and he's not great for the team and it showed last night.
"Moving forward, you have to trade Harden. That's the move. You trade James Harden, and I'm not sure what his value is out there, but you trade James Harden. You don't even get into contract talks, you try to move him."

After highlighting their solid core and giving his opinion on whether head coach Doc Rivers should stay, he stated:

"I don't necessarily know if you have to fire Doc, but you have to trade Harden. He's not good for the development of Maxey, he's not in championship mode, he doesn't want to win a championship. So, you can't get locked into this contract."
"The 76ers have to trade James Harden."โ€” @WalkerAntoine8 explains: https://t.co/Y7cwQzXX3S

It is unclear which route the Sixers will go, as there is a lot to consider. The three-time scoring champ joined the team halfway through the season and might need more time to fully gel with the team.


James Harden did not show up for the Philadelphia 76ers during the playoffs

Joel Embiid No. 21 and Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Joel Embiid No. 21 and Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Harden's first five games with the Sixers were an absolute delight, as his impact was felt throughout the organization. He scored and assisted at a high clip, while also teaching Joel Embiid his famous step-back three-pointer move.

Sadly, things have gone downhill since then, especially in the playoffs. Harden was brought in to relieve Joel Embiid from some of the offensive load, but it did not work out.

James Harden is 1-8 in his last 9 elimination games. https://t.co/cyUaWKBxr7

Despite being an elite shooter for most of his career, Harden struggled to shoot the ball, registering one of the worst playoff performances of his career.

Harden has always been called out for choking in the postseason, and he further confirmed that notion with his display. The veteran guard averaged 18.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 8.6 assists while shooting 40.5% from the field and 36.8% from beyond the arc.


Edited by Adam Dickson

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