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James Harden Says 76ers Were His First Choice for Trade While With Rockets

In his first press conference since being traded to the 76ers from the Nets, James Harden opened about a previous blockbuster deal he was involved in. 

While with the Rockets in 2020, Harden demanded a trade and was eventually dealt to the Nets in January 2021. Almost a year later, Harden found himself in a very similar situation with the Nets, but he didn't specifically say why he wanted out. But he did say that Philadelphia was his first choice last year.

“Originally, when I was going through everything I was going through in Houston, Philly was my first choice,” Harden said on Tuesday. “It just didn't happen. I don't really wanna get into details on the Brooklyn situation, I just knew, for a very long time, this is a perfect fit.”

Harden raved about the 76ers and called center Joel Embiid the “best big man in the league.” He also said he didn't know why he wasn't dealt to Philadelphia last year and that it wasn't his call.

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“The organization gotta do what's best for their team, you know, present and future,” Harden said. “So, it didn't work like that.”

Harden is currently dealing with a hamstring injury, and no date has been set for his return to the floor. He is averaging 22.5 points and 10.2 assists per game this season, shooting just 41.4% from the floor and 33.2% from three.

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