Despite reportedly being open to "relocation" this summer, James Harden appears to be staying in Brooklyn for at least the remainder of the season as the Nets will not listen to trade offers for the star guard ahead of the Feb. 10 trade deadline, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Wojnarowski reports that the Nets' decision is rooted in Harden's "repeated insistences to ownership and management that he's committed to staying and winning a championship with the franchise."
ESPN Sources: The Brooklyn Nets won’t listen to trade deadline overtures for James Harden, a resolve largely rooted in the All-NBA guard’s repeated insistences to ownership and management that he’s committed to the franchise: https://t.co/wveLmWVqHU
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 27, 2022
Last week, NBA insider Marc Stein reported that Harden turned down a lucrative extension in October and was open to relocating come free agency.
Harden, 32, has a $47.4-million player option for 2022-23, meaning he could still opt-in to staying in Brooklyn next season. However, declining the player option would allow Harden to hit the open market while in his prime, allowing him to pursue what would almost certainly be a lucrative long-term deal.
Wojnarowski reports that Nets owner Joe Tsai and general manager Sean Marks are reassured by Harden's commitment, and the shared belief among Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving that three combine to make an unstoppable trio.
The Philadelphia 76ers, who are intent on pursuing Harden this summer perhaps through a sign-and-trade involving Ben Simmons, according to both Stein and Wojnarowski, have not tabled an offer to the Nets.
Brooklyn, while navigating a tumultuous season with its Big 3 of Harden, Durant and Irving -- spurred by Irving's choice to be unvaccinated, making him ineligible to play in home games -- has managed to achieve the third-best record in the Eastern Conference. Currently, they sit at 29-18, trailing only the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat.
After a rough start to his season, Harden has rounded into a form that closer approximates his MVP-calibre self with averages of 23.0 points, 8.1 rebounds and 10.1 assists per game. He was ruled out for Wednesday night's game against the Denver Nuggets due to left hamstring tightness.