June 9, 2023

Sixers’ Chances Of Re-Signing James Harden Tied To Decision On Doc Rivers

The free agency of James Harden appears to be heavily tied to the decision from the Philadelphia 76ers on whether they will retain Doc Rivers as head coach. Harden gave a tepid response when asked about his relationship with Rivers following Philadelphia’s Game 7 exit in the second round.

“They have to start with the decision ‘Do you want to move forward with James Harden and Joel Embiid as your pairing? Is this your superstar pairing moving forward?'” said Ramona Shelburne on NBA Today.

“James Harden can become a free agent, which means you have to decide if you want to give him a four-year contract. Do you want to lock this in for the next four years? That decision, from what I understand talking to people around the [Sixers], it also now becomes tied to the decision about Doc Rivers.

“Because James Harden was not all that supportive of Doc Rivers in his press conference yesterday. I think behind the scenes, from what I’m told, one person said ‘It would be hard for me to see James wanting to come back to play for Doc again.’

“This is going to be a situation where those two decisions are linked. And as we go forward into this offseason and you have another second round exit, you have to decide if you want to lock in your future around those two guys. If you’re doing that, what does that mean for Doc Rivers? Because the decisions seem to be linked.”

If Harden doesn’t re-sign with the Sixers, he’s widely expected to join the Houston Rockets.

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