The 76ers have officially introduced Nick Nurse as the team’s new head coach, replacing Doc Rivers. During his first press conference, Nurse was asked if he wants James Harden to return next season.
“James Harden’s a great player,” Nurse said. “I would say this is that James has a decision to make. I’d be very happy if he came back.”
Nurse revealed that he has already talked to Harden since getting the job but the conversation did not go into trying to convince the star to stay.
“I think that we didn’t get into to that when we talked,” Nurse said. “I’m going to sit down, as I am with all the guys, I’m going to go sit down with the all one-on-one face to face here shortly.
“But I think that winning is always the sell. Can we be good enough to win it all? That’s got to be a goal of his and if it is, then he should stay here and play for us because I think there’s possibility of that.”
Harden has a player option on his contract for the 2023-2024 season, but it widely expected to opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent.
It is rumored that the former league MVP may choose to return to the Rockets instead of staying in Philadelphia.
This past season Harden, who will turn 34 in August, averaged 21 points, 6.1 rebounds and 10.7 assists in 36.8 minutes per game for the Sixers.