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Report: Harden desires 76ers move, wary of making trade request

Rocky Widner / National Basketball Association / Getty

James Harden has eyes for the Philadelphia 76ers after all.

The Brooklyn Nets star wants to be traded to the 76ers by Thursday's deadline but hasn't made a formal request to Brooklyn, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Harden is reportedly wary of the public ramifications of requesting a trade just a year after pressuring the Houston Rockets to do the same.

Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks hasn't had significant discussions about a Harden deal with Philadelphia president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, though the two are expected to communicate leading up to Thursday's 3 p.m. cutoff, Wojnarowski reports.

Harden, 32, has missed three consecutive games for Brooklyn with a hamstring issue. His absence has fueled speculation that he's purposely sitting out to demonstrate his declining interest in staying with the Nets, per Wojnarowski.

After eight seasons with the Rockets, Harden told the team he wanted out and was late reporting to training camp ahead of the 2020-21 campaign. Though he still played in eight games for Houston, the franchise eventually capitulated to his demands and sent him to Brooklyn in January 2021 as part of a four-team deal involving the Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers.

Nets head coach Steve Nash was adamant Sunday that the team, which is mired in a nine-game losing streak, wouldn't trade the nine-time All-Star before the deadline. However, Harden, who reportedly doesn't employ a full-time agent, is apparently seeking representation to help assess all of his options with his contract expiring after the season.

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