By Teddy Brenner
You’ll never guess who’s working behind the scenes to persuade the Rockets James Harden that Philly is the place for him:
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported Harden turned down an extension worth over $50 million per year in the hopes of a trade to Brooklyn.
But Harden has also reportedly suggested the Sixers are one of his preferred landing spots, and Philly is pulling out the stops to bring Harden aboard.
The Sixers hired Daryl Morey, the former Rockets GM, to be the new president of basketball operations.
According to Kelly Iko and David Aldridge of The Athletic, platinum-selling rapper and Philly native and icon Meek Mill is another figure attempting to convince Harden to the City of Brotherly Love:
Philadelphia’s interest in Harden has grown in recent weeks, sources said. Morey’s ascension to the top decision-maker spot on the basketball side as president of basketball operations is an obvious link, given the history Harden and he share, but there’s also the lure of the Eastern Conference. Rapper Meek Mill has a longstanding relationship with Harden and has been trying to convince him to come to Philadelphia, according to a source. Billionaire Michael Rubin, a close friend of Meek’s and co-owner of the 76ers, is also very fond of Harden.
If the Rockets decide to trade Harden, they will undoubtedly demand the one of the largest return packages in league history.
The Sixers would seemingly have to part with one of their All-Stars to get a deal done, possibly Ben Simmons. Philly could also entice Houston with someone like Matisse Thybulle.
Regardless, the Sixers apparently cannot be counted out of the Harden sweepstakes given the links between “The Beard” and team personnel, as well as superfans like Meek.