Report: Harden pledged commitment to Nets while gauging exit plan

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Though James Harden assured the Brooklyn Nets' brain trust he was committed to sticking with the team long term, his actions behind the scenes throughout the 2021-22 season reportedly told a different story.

The 32-year-old's desire to join the Philadelphia 76ers prior to formally informing Nets general manager Sean Marks and owner Joseph Tsai became apparent after word got back to the team he had approached several player agents for advice on his potential exit, sources told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski.

Harden, a max-contract player, has not retained an agent of his own in several years.

Even still, Harden reportedly continued to tell the Nets not to believe rumors about his discontentment. Eventually, Harden reportedly told his GM he wanted a trade to Philadelphia. As a result, he and the team agreed he'd sit out until the trade deadline. He then left Brooklyn on Wednesday to return to Houston while awaiting a deal.

Harden's wish was ultimately granted on Thursday; the 32-year-old was traded to Philadelphia for a package of players and draft assets headlined by three-time All-Star Ben Simmons - a disgruntled figure in his own right.

Meanwhile, the Nets - with Kevin Durant sidelined with an MCL sprain and the unvaccinated Kyrie Irving barred from playing home games - are losers of 10 straight.

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Report: Harden pledged commitment to Nets while gauging exit plan
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