‘Daryl Morey Is A Liar’ | James Harden Publicly Calls Out 76ers’ President In Hopes To Speed Up Trade Out Of Philadelphia

James Harden, 10-time All-Star and seven-time All-NBA, has called out Philadelphia 76ers’ president Daryl Morey. Harden publicly called Morey a “liar” and said he will never be a part of an organization that Morey is a part of.

“Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of,” Harden told the crowd in attendance at an Adidas marketing event in China. “Let me say that again: Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of.”

Bromance Is Over

If it wasn’t clear that the bromance between Harden and Morey is over, this latest move by Harden should leave no doubt.

It. Is. Over.

When Harden forced his way out of Brooklyn in 2022 he left a max extension on the table that the Nets offered him. The plan was for Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to re-up. Irving’s reluctance to take the COVID-19 vaccine and unreliability as a teammate caused Harden to demand a trade and reunite with his former Houston boss, Morey.

It is widely believed around the league that when Morey became president in Philadelphia, Harden was always whom he coveted. The pair had tremendous success in Houston and were a game away from the NBA Finals.

When Harden was dealt to the 76ers it was also widely assumed that Morey would take care of Harden on his next negotiation.

What’s that saying about a bird in the hand?

Harden took less money from the 76ers on a two-year deal with an opt out clause in year two, presumably so he could negotiate a max deal to stay in Philly with Joel Embiid.

This Business Is Cold

But it seems Morey has welshed on the supposed agreement and now Harden’s mad.

Morey is a pragmatist and has always valued data and numbers over personal feelings and relationships. The 76ers are already into the luxury tax and a redo of Harden’s deal (he’s looking for the max) would put them in cap hell.

Morey was never going to do that.

The market this summer was already limited given the new parameters of the collective bargaining agreement. If Harden opted out and became a free agent, no contending team could afford to sign him long term. He would’ve had to take a shorter deal on way less money. He had no choice but to opt in for the guaranteed $35.6 million this season.

Despite the loss of a half step or so, Harden is still elite. He ranked in the 96th percentile in EPM at +5.1 and 97th percentile in EW at 11.6.

Using the value of $3.75 million for a win for the 2022-23 season, Harden is a $43.5 million player. That’s the number he’s likely looking at on a three-year deal. But Morey clearly doesn’t think he’s worth that much.

Here we are in what sets up to be one of the more interesting standoffs in league history. Morey is known to be quite comfortable with awkward and uncomfortable situations, and Harden has sulked his way out of two franchises already. Who is going to blink first?

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