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James Harden Rumors: Nets Star Informed Several Confidants of Interest in Exploring Other Teams This Summer

While Nets star James Harden remains interested in competing for a championship in Brooklyn this season, Harden has also recently informed several confidants of his interest in exploring other opportunities outside of Brooklyn this summer, according to Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer.

Harden, 32, has a player option this summer and could test the free-agent market if he so chooses.  

According to Bleacher Report, coach Steve Nash's fluid rotations have disappointed Harden and star guard Kyrie Irving's part-time status due to being unvaccinated has also been a point of frustration. 

On Monday, The Athletic's Shams Charania and Sam Amick reported that 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey is believed to prefer pursuing Harden or another star free agent in the offseason, rather than trading Ben Simmons for a lesser package ahead of this February's deadline.

Morey acquired Harden in a trade from the Thunder while running the Rockets and attempted to acquire Harden via trade last January, months after taking the Philadelphia job. 

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Last week, The Athletic also reported those around Simmons continue to insist that he’ll sit out the entire season if a deal isn’t done by the deadline. Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix had previously reported the organization has conveyed to opposing teams that it isn't lowering the asking price for Simmons.

Harden declined to sign a three-year, $162 million extension with the Nets prior to the regular season, stating that he was focused on this year and didn’t “plan on leaving this organization and the situation that we have.” 

Bleacher Report reported Thursday that Harden has also not enjoyed living in Brooklyn, compared to his time in Houston.

In 41 games this season, Harden is averaging 22.7 points, his lowest total since his final season in Oklahoma City, and 10.1 assists per game.

The Nets enter Tuesday's game vs. the Lakers 29–17 on the season, and 0.5 games behind the Heat for the top seed in the East.

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