James Harden made headlines on Tuesday after a story in Bleacher Report came out and said that he was apparently unhappy in Brooklyn and has voiced his frustrations to the Nets, particularly about Kyrie Irving’s playing time status and Steve Nash’s rotations.
Following a 106-96 loss to the Lakers at home, in which Harden recorded a triple-double but was without Irving (vaccine) and Kevin Durant (knee), the star was asked about the recent report.
“I don’t know about any reports,” Harden said, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. “Of course, I’m frustrated because we’re not healthy. There’s a lot of inconsistency for whatever reason, injuries, COVID. I think everybody in the organization is frustrated because we are better than what our record is, and we should be on the way up. That’s all it is.
“I don’t know about reports. If you didn’t hear it from me, then it’s reports. I’m frustrated because I want to win, and I’m a competitor. It’s pretty simple.”
The Bleacher Report story also said that Harden is interested in exploring opportunities outside of Brooklyn in the offseason, although was clear he has not requested a trade.
He has reportedly been linked to the Philadelphia 76ers, where Daryl Morey— Harden’s former GM in Houston — is looking for a star player to get in return for disgruntled Ben Simmons.
It seems unlikely that the 76ers will deal Simmons ahead of the trade deadline and a sign-and-trade this offseason for Harden seems to be Morey’s preference.
Harden likely wants to add a championship title to what has been a Hall of Fame career, and if he cannot get it done with the Nets, joining Joel Embiid in the Sixers may be the next best option.
The Nets currently sit in third place in the Eastern Conference but are only separated by one game from the top-seeded Miami Heat.