James Harden Oct 18, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden (1) holds up his hands after he was fouled during the first quarter against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The James Harden saga continues as the Philadelphia 76ers star finally made his presence known at practice on Wednesday after being away for over a week.

His absence was something promised by him, as he said he planned on making it uncomfortable for the team as he waited to be traded. His days with the team weren’t as numbered as he would have liked, however.

Radio personality Nick Wright joined Bomani Jones to talk about Harden on the latest episode of The Right Time with Bomani Jones presented by Wave Sports + Entertainment.

“I don’t know if it’s fully landed with James Harden that the reason he’s not a Clipper right now is because they wouldn’t give up Terance Mann,” Jones said. “Terance Mann is 27 years old averaging eight points a game. He’s 27. He’s not like a young, ‘Oh what is he gonna turn into?’ This was done for a first-round pick, a pick swap, and Terance Mann. And the Clippers who are all in on this season were like, ‘Not worth it.’ That’s where James Harden’s current market value is. And so he can blame Daryl [Morey] and he can light the building on fire…but I hope he recognizes that he is now somehow more of a long-term risk than Kyrie [Irving]. No one will give him the contract Kyrie just got. Nobody.”

Harden’s big wish is to be traded to the Los Angeles Clippers, but as Wright said, the teams aren’t willing to give up certain pieces in order to obtain him. The market’s different now.

Jones agrees.

“When you look at the ways that he has lost for over a decade, starting with the 2012 Finals, all the way to the end,” Jones responded. “Can you win with James Harden? Does he automatically make it impossible for you to win, because it’s not just that he doesn’t play well in those games, it’s that he self-destructs.”

Jones adds that the relationship between Harden and the 76ers appeared to have diminished. 

How does he return after that?

“I don’t know [where this ends] because he can’t play for them [the 76ers] again…You can’t bring James Harden back,” Jones said. “I don’t think there’s anybody that really wants him. The Clippers, as you said, won’t give up Terance Mann. I don’t know where this goes and the best part about this is, both of these guys –  Morey and Harden –  are the variety of sociopaths where discomfort – you might be uncomfortable, they’re not uncomfortable at all. They’ll sit in this.”

Harden’s current teammate Joel Embiid took questions from the media recently during a practice. He said Harden’s absence didn’t distract the team from how they performed on the court.

“Maybe he had something to do,” Embiid said.

Harden had been away to tend to a personal matter in what was explained as an excused absence.

[The Right Time with Bomani Jones]

About Jessica Kleinschmidt

Jess is a baseball fan with Reno, Nev. roots residing in the Bay Area. She is the host of "Short and to the Point" and is also a broadcaster with the Oakland A's Radio Network. She previously worked for MLB.com and NBC Sports Bay Area.