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Charles Barkley thinks James Harden ‘can’t come back’ to the Philadelphia 76ers

As the 2023-24 season is underway, the Philadelphia 76ers are embroiled in an ongoing saga with star guard James Harden.

The former league MVP’s status with the team remains uncertain as the 76ers have chosen to keep him away from the organization. Harden attempted to return to travel with the team for their season-opening road trip. However, he was denied access to the 76ers’ team plane.

All that has further clouded up what has become arguably the messiest situation in the league. Since the summer, Harden has remained steadfast in his trade desire. Although general manager Daryl Morey hasn’t budged toward obliging that request.


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Hall of Famer and TNT’s “Inside the NBA” analyst Charles Barkley voiced on Thursday that he doesn’t believe there is any way the 10-time All-Star can return to the team.

“It’s not tough to figure out,” Barkley said via NBA on TNT. “James Harden can’t come back to Philly. The fans ain’t going to have it. He can’t treat the city of Philadelphia like that and they are going to forgive and forget…You just can’t take time off because you’re unhappy you ain’t getting traded.”

There have been mistakes made on both sides, but Harden’s decision to opt into the final year of his deal has led to him being stuck in Philadelphia.

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He had the opportunity to test the free-agent market but chose to pick up the $35.6 million player option for the 2023-24 campaign.

The LA Clippers were believed to be his desired trade landing spot, but the franchise has chosen to back away from trade talk. All that spells what could be a long, drawn-out process ahead for Harden and the 76ers.

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