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NBA Media Day: James Harden update, Joel Embiid speaks on status with Sixers

James Harden was notably absent from the Sixers media day, and his participation in this week’s training camp in Colorado remains uncertain.

This is primarily due to the fact that the team has not yet addressed the trade request made by the discontented guard.

Team president Daryl Morey commented on Harden’s absence, stating on Monday, “He’s not present today. He is actively pursuing a trade, and we are collaborating with his representatives to find the most beneficial resolution for the 76ers and, ideally, all involved parties.”

Sixers President Daryl Morey on the Harden situation

“We’ll either move James for a player of a caliber that helps our championship contention or for draft picks that will let us go in short order go get a player like that.”

It’s worth noting that Morey made it sound like he expects Harden to attend training camp at some point this week, especially considering he will be fined for not being at Sixers media day.

“Look, I think he’s a heck of a basketball player. I like him as a person,” Morey said. “It was hard, I think, that he felt like that was the right course of action for him at that point. What else can I say? I think he’s a tremendous player that will help us if he chooses to be here. And right now, that’s not where he wants to do.”


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Joel Embiid on James Harden

“I think it’s been unfortunate what has been going on,” Embiid said. “The goal is to be together and try to win a championship.”

“James is a really good player. We love him on the team,” said Embiid, the two-time NBA scoring champion. “If he’s here, great. We’d love to have him. If not, we’ve still got a job to do.”

Joel was also asked about the new and improved rivals within the Eastern conference surpassing the Sixers, including the Bucks and the Celtics: “Who said they surpassed us?”

This situation is nearly identical to the one just a few years ago with the Sixers, so if there’s anyone who’s accustomed to this, it’s Joel Embiid.

“I think last time this happened, there was a lot of stuff in the media… whether it was blaming me and others on the team,” he said. “And so, I think at that time, I was a little defensive. But this time around, it just seems like maybe it was a misunderstanding between both sides. But I can only control what I can control. And that’s to go out there and try to play with what we have, trying to be a leader and bring these guys along. Compete every night and try to win.”

When asked about his long-term commitment to the Sixers, Embiid believes he’ll always have a chance to win regardless of the current roster.

“If every year is going to be the same thing, that doesn’t put you closer to winning a championship. That gets frustrating. But I also believe it doesn’t matter who’s on the team, I’m always going to have a chance to win.”

The Sixers are set to hold training camp from Oct. 3 through Oct. 6 at Colorado State University.

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