NBA Rumors: James Harden has once again been linked to the Rockets

Philadelphia 76ers James Harden (Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia 76ers James Harden (Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports) /

NBA Rumors: It’s now hard to ignore the noise; James Harden has once again been linked to the Houston Rockets.

During last offseason, when James Harden had the opportunity to sign anywhere he wanted, he elected to take somewhat of a pay cut to re-sign with the Philadelpiha 76ers. It was the biggest indication that we’d seen from Harden that proved he was all-in to win an NBA championship.

However, if the Sixers don’t win it this season, he’ll have another decision to make during the offseason.

According to a recent report, one option that Harden very well may end up considering is a move back to the Houston Rockets. Harden is reportedly serious about a possible return to the Rockets during the offseason. This is the second time in as many weeks that Harden has been linked to a possible return to Houston.

If nothing else, it’s something else to think about revolving around the Sixers heading into the offseason.

Could this be James Harden’s final year with the Philadelphia 76ers?

Objectively, I don’t think it’s an insane thing to say that this could end up being Harden’s final year with the Sixers. He could opt out of his current contract after this season and pursue another big-money deal if that’s what he wants. However, I find it hard to believe that he’s going to get that from the Sixers.

If he does want one more big payday it will likely have to come from another team. And it just happens that the Rockets are likely going to be one of the teams that has a tremendous amount of money to spend. And because of their young roster, they could afford to make a big move for Harden during the offseason.

Whether it would end up being a smart move or not remains to be seen but would it be that surprising if the Rockets decided to make such a move? Absolutely not. Especially considering the history that the two sides have with each other.

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The only way that I could see Harden leaving a team as good and talented as the Sixers is if there’s a colossal ending for the team in the playoffs. And, quite frankly, if the Sixers do have a disappointing end to the season, I believe that there’s a growing expectation that there will be big changes to the team. It may not just be Harden.