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January 28, 2022 | 4:46 am EST Update

Teams growing suspicious about talks between James Harden, Sixers owner

Chris Haynes: There’s another player we’re going to add to this dynamic. Michael Rubin. For those who don’t know, the Sixers co-owner is very, very, very good friends with James Harden. And I’ve been talking to a rival owner, talking to rival front office executives, who believe that there can be some talk going on now between both sides.
Chris Haynes: Some front office executives are prepared to… when the time comes, if a deal does look like is about to transpire where there could be some potential sign-and-trade in the offseason… They’re prepared to get the league involved on a potential collusion case dating back to what they what they believe could be going on right now, you know as to why we’re probably hearing a lot of Philadelphia, James Harden talk. I was told there will be complaints issued to the league on try to investigate to see if there was any collusion.
Like it may also be coming from there, but I’ve heard this. I’m sure you have to, like it’s other people around the league who are not part of Brooklyn’s, uh, franchise or part of the Sixers, who have said they’re hearing that James Harden is looking around wondering what his other options may be and eyeing Philly because of the obvious. Relationship with Daryl Morey, trust there from other years in Houston together. Hardens also tight with Michael Rubin, one of the Sixers owners, no mystery about this stuff, but I was hearing an entire case being made for why Harden might go to Philly this summer and it’d have to be via sign and trade of course, from an executive who is not with either of these franchises.
Storyline: James Harden Free Agency
But eight-time All-Star Vince Carter disagreed, believing the Nets need to do their due diligence and assess the trade market for Harden. “If you’re the Brooklyn Nets, what’s wrong with taking calls? Because if Harden chooses to go elsewhere, you’re left with nothing. So just make sure you know what’s going on or at least have an idea what the market looks like,” he said. “You want to make sure you get something in return, they want to make sure they get the right pieces to add to this Brooklyn team if they lose Harden.