Is there trouble in paradise between James Harden and the Nets?
The superstar guard, and the third member of Brooklyn’s “Big Three,” has expressed his interest in looking at opportunities outside of Brooklyn, according to a new report from Bleacher Report. Harden has reportedly become vocal about his frustrations regarding Kyrie Irving’s part-time playing status, disappointed with Steve Nash’s “fluid rotations,” and he has not enjoyed living in Brooklyn.
It appears, according to the report, Harden will test the waters in free agency even if he ends up returning to the Nets. Harden has never been an unrestricted free agent during his 13-year NBA career.
A lot of the weight has fallen on Harden’s shoulders with Kevin Durant injured and Irving only eligible to play away from the five boroughs. Durant’s injury, which will keep him out for at least a month, has only exacerbated the situation for Harden.
He is committed to winning a title in Brooklyn this season, sources told Bleacher Report, but beyond that, it remains unclear if Harden’s dissatisfaction with his life away from the court in Brooklyn won’t help matters.
“According to multiple sources, Harden has not enjoyed living in Brooklyn, compared to his days as a central Houston magnate. Outside of the change in climate, the chasm between state taxes in New York versus Texas is quite obvious as well,” the report stated.
The new report is just the latest in a series that have come from various outlets, including The Athletic and The Philadelphia Inquirer, that have hinted at the growing belief that Harden was open to leaving the Nets. Front offices around the league have gotten a growing sense that Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey will hold onto Ben Simmons and try to make a deal with Brooklyn for Harden.
Harden and Morey have history from their time together in Houston. No trade request has been made by Harden, according to the report, and it’s been well documented that any sort of deal that would be potentially made between Brooklyn and Philadelphia would come during the offseason.