This offseason has been a rollercoaster for the Philadelphia 76ers. They went from having a rough second-round exit to now the era of ‘The Process’ may be over. Even better, the way it’s all going down is eerily similar to another situation that hit the Washington Wizards only a few years ago.
In a video that went viral early Monday morning, James Harden was seen at a basketball camp giving a speech regarding long-time friend and general manager Daryl Morey. Despite the long history of friendship between the two esteemed league members, Harden’s speech was anything but kind to the GM of the 76ers.
“Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of. Let me say that again: Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of.”
The lies Harden is likely referring to stems from contract negotiations in recent years. Although, this is not yet confirmed. There were likely illegal promises made by Morey and the 76ers promising Harden either a huge pay day or a trade to a contender.
With reports that no contract negotiations occurred over between the two parties and then trade discussions regarding the former MVP completely shutting down, both potential promises listed above have been broken.
Either way, negotiations like this are not legal in the NBA. Famously, Joe Smith took a similar contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves where it cost him a full year of play and multiple first-round picks for the Timberwolves. It is worth noting that the 76ers were punished for suspect contract negotiations when they signed Harden to his current contract.
This is far from ideal for the 76ers who are trying to build a contending team around MVP Joel Embiid in what limited time he has left as an MVP candidate.
The distrust between James Harden and Daryl Morey to John Wall and Tommy Sheppard on the Wizards
In an interview earlier this year, John Wall detailed how he was treated by the Washington Wizards organization following his infamous birthday incident. Involved were numerous statements regarding distrust between former general manager Tommy Sheppard and the star point guard.
He claimed that he was told his spot on the Wizards’ roster was safe only weeks before the trade sending him to the Houston Rockets was completed. Not only this, but he was also informed of the trade talks not by the front office, but by Russell Westbrook, the very player he was traded for.
The distrust between the two may not have been quit as severe as the issues between Harden and Morey, but there were definitely some feelings hurt in the process of trading the Wall-Star. The main takeaway was how poorly the front office was run at the time.
This includes the Wizards’ other star at the time Bradley Beal who was also mentioned by Wall. Beal was allegedly hurt by Wall’s actions and was unsure whether or not he wanted to play with his longtime teammate.
The main difference between the two situations is what is at the very root of the problem. With Harden, he wants more money or the opportunity to compete on a better team. With Wall, he made some poor decisions at his birthday party.
While there are some key differences, the situation between James Harden and Daryl Morey carries some heavy similarities to John Wall’s brief experience with Tommy Sheppard.