Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden is exercising his $35.6 million option and the teams are beginning to collaborate on reviewing trade scenarios, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Thursday.
Harden is expected to have played his last game for Philadelphia, the sources said.
The LA Clippers and New York Knicks are expected to be among the teams expected to get involved with the Sixers in a potential deal with Harden, sources told Wojnarowski.
Harden, who turns 34 in August, made his tenth All-Star team last season and finished the game with 21 points, 6.1 rebounds and 10.7 assists per game. He led the NBA in assists – many of which went to Joel Embiid, who won his first Most Valuable Player award and led the league in goals.
Embiid and Harden became the first teammates to lead the league in goals and assists in the same season since Johnny Moore and George Gervin accomplished the feat with the San Antonio Spurs 40 years ago.
Despite championship expectations, the 76ers were eliminated in the second round for the fifth time in six seasons. The Sixers fired Doc Rivers after the season and replaced him with former Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse.
Harden arrived in Philadelphia 18 months ago as part of a blockbuster deal with the Brooklyn Nets that saw Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and Draft Capital go the other way when Harden met 76ers basketball operations president Daryl Morey was reunited with the man who brought him to Houston a decade ago.
ESPN’s Tim Bontemps contributed to this report.