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James Harden arrives in Philadelphia, potentially set to make debut Tuesday

The shooting guard is back with his former GM in Houston.

Brooklyn Nets’ James Harden not dressed for game against Boston Celtics
Brooklyn Nets’ James Harden, out with left hamstring tightness, is not in uniform for game against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center, in Brooklyn, New York, on February 8, 2022.
Photo by J. Conrad Williams Jr./Newsday RM via Getty Images

Former Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers on deadline day in a blockbuster deal involving Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and draft capital going back to Brooklyn. Here’s Harden reuniting with Daryl Morey, who brought him to the Houston Rockets from the Oklahoma City Thunder back in 2012.

You can barely see the smile under Harden’s signature beard but it is there. The second picture is a bit more convincing.

This was a coup for Morey, who has been publicly facing the pressure after Joel Embiid’s monster stretch. The president of basketball operations couldn’t waste the big man’s season waiting for Simmons to come back to the court, so he went back to the superstar he essentially created. Harden had also grown tired of Brooklyn’s setup, in addition to Kyrie Irving’s status as a part-time player.

We’ll see how this move ultimately plays out but both teams look to have gotten what they wanted. The Nets are still the favorites to win the NBA title at +370 per DraftKings Sportsbook, but the 76ers have climbed to +700 and now have an elite offensive tandem in Harden and Embiid.