James Harden Apr 20, 2023; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden (1) reacts after a call during game three of the 2023 NBA playoffs against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

James Harden, Joel Embiid, and the Philadelphia 76ers aren’t 24 hours removed from their humiliating Game 7 exit against the Boston Celtics in the NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals, and rumors are already starting to swirl about Harden’s next destination.

According to ESPN’s NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowksi, the Houston Rockets want to make a move for their former star even if they win the 2023 NBA Lottery drawing set for Tuesday night.

“If [the Rockets] win the lottery … and they’re the ones who can draft Victor Wembanyama, my sense is that would not necessarily change the Rockets’ intentions to pursue James Harden,” Wojnarowski said on Monday morning’s edition of Get Up.

Rumors of Harden potentially returning to Houston began to circulate around Christmas, and Harden has never explicitly denied the possibility, which caused the rumors to swirl throughout the season and has only been amplified given the 76ers’ embarrassing Game 7 flameout against the Celtics.

The NBA world was quick to react to the shocking report:


Harden began his basketball career at Artesia High School in Lakewood, California, where he won two state championships. He signed with the Arizona State Sun Devils in 2007 and played three seasons in Tempe. The program eventually retired his jersey.

Harden made the jump to the NBA in 2009 when the Oklahoma City Thunder drafted him with the third overall pick of the NBA Draft. He played four seasons with the team before being traded to the Rockets.

Only time will tell if Harden makes the move back to the Bayou City.

[Get Up]