James Harden Fined For His Comments About Daryl Morey
The James Harden drama has really kicked up of late. First, the Sixers let it be known that they no longer intend to trade James Harden. Then at an Adidas event in China, James Harden called Daryl Morey a liar, twice, and said that he will never play for a team run by him. That spurred the NBA to launch an investigation into those comments. As part of that investigation, the NBA is fining James Harden $100,000.
For the league’s purposes on the fine, Harden’s comments that he would never be part of an organization that included Morey played a bigger part in the fine, sources said. It touched on the league’s rules concerning public trade demands. https://t.co/AZxe6kKpNv— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 22, 2023
As Woj pointed out in the above Tweet, the fine is more because of Harden’s claims he will refuse to play for the Sixers. The NBA has strict rules about public trade demands. And publicly admitting you will refuse to live up to the contract, that Harden himself opted into, flagrantly violates those rules. And it could continue to cause more problems for Harden. Because if it comes to the point that he is refusing to play, he is already on the record that he intended to not play for them.
Apparently the reason Morey is a liar, according to Harden, is that he is no longer looking to trade him. Initial speculation was that perhaps Morey made an under-the-table offer to Harden, to compel him to take what was a team-friendly deal at the time. But if that were the case, you will never get either side to admit it. Doing so would lead to far more problems with the NBA than either side has already had.
For now, all we know is Harden wants to be traded. The Sixers are not yet willing to trade him right now. They do not want to take on bad contracts to move him, preferring to gain the cap flexibility they will get when his contract comes off the books. So unless some team is willing to offer better players for Harden, the Sixers do not want to move him.
Given Harden’s past, this is likely not the end. His camp already told Ramona Shelburne that he is willing to make things more uncomfortable for the Sixers. This $100,000 could be the first of many. Especially since Harden was foolish enough to publicly state his unwillingness to play here under Morey. The bigger question is how much dram from him are the Sixers willing to put up with when they are still in win-now mode. This situation will get way messier before it gets fixed.
You may also enjoy:
14 Times James Harden Looked Awful in the Playoffs