During Daryl Morey’s first season as Philadelphia 76ers President of basketball operations, he tried to cause a stir in the trade market when one of his former All-Stars requested a trade to his former organization, the Houston Rockets.
It’s well known that the Sixers were runners-up in the race to acquire James Harden last season, even if it meant trading their former first-round pick to general Ben Simmons. However, the Sixers fell short.
Harden landed in Brooklyn with the Nets, leaving the Sixers to pursue other options later. At the time, it seemed highly unlikely that Harden would ever make it to Philadelphia, but the Sixers did just over a year later.
Unhappy in Brooklyn, James Harden went out of his way to signal that he wanted a trade from the Nets. Although it seemed like the Nets were too reluctant at first, the Sixers and Nets reached an agreement hours before Thursday’s trade deadline. And finally, Harden will travel to Philadelphia.
Statement by Josh Harris
“James Harden is one of the league’s true elite players. His career has been defined by incredible personal achievements, including honors as NBA MVP and three-time NBA champion. pairing with Joel Embiid and that dynamic in our quest for an NBA title.I’m proud to welcome James and Paul Millsap – a proven veteran and former All-Star – to the 76ers, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the city and our fans.”
Ever since Daryl Morey joined the 76ers front office from the Rockets organization two offseasons ago, Sixers managing partner Josh Harris has backed the veteran executive’s pursuit of stars — especially James Harden.
Although Morey and the Sixers failed last year, their patience and persistence paid off. Now, the Sixers will pair their franchise’s most valuable player, Joel Embiid, with a former MVP and current All-Star to form a dynamic duo that is sure to threaten the rest of the Eastern Conference.