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Report: James Harden considering return to Rockets in free agency

The 76ers guard might go back to Houston this summer.

Detroit Pistons v Philadelphia 76ers
James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on during the game against the Detroit Pistons on December 21, 2022 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Philadelphia 76ers star guard James Harden is considering a return to the Houston Rockets in free agency this summer, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. Harden spent a good portion of nine seasons with the Rockets, where he rose from a sixth man to a superstar and nearly took the franchise to the NBA Finals.

Harden has always expressed his love for the Houston area, and he reportedly loved living in the city over Brooklyn and Philadelphia. Even with Daryl Morey overseeing basketball operations in Philadelphia, Harden would be willing to spurn his longtime executive to return to Texas. Harden did take a big cut to help the 76ers make additions to the roster last offseason, and maybe he’s soured on the players brought in by management. This desire to go back to Houston is contingent on the 76ers not agreeing to a deal with him, which they will certainly try to do.

The Rockets have been struggling to get going in their post-Harden years, but they do have some talent in Jalen Green and Jabari Smith. If Harden returns to that team, which is loaded with draft picks, he could be the centerpiece of a surprise contender next season.