James Harden

James Harden absent Monday at Sixers media day

Harden requested a trade this summer after exercising his player option.

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CAMDEN, N.J. -- James Harden was unsurprisingly absent Monday morning at the Sixers' media day.

The Athletic's Shams Charania first reported the news. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Sixers and Clippers have recently talked about a trade involving Harden but "there doesn't appear to be any traction." Los Angeles is reportedly Harden's preferred destination.

Harden, a 34-year-old 10-time All-Star guard who led the NBA in assists last season, requested a trade this summer after exercising his $35.6 million player option. He was listed on the Sixers' official training camp roster but clearly remains determined to make the team uncomfortable and try to pressure the Sixers into moving him away.

"He’s not here today," Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey said. "He continues to seek a trade and we’re working with his representation to resolve that in the best way for the 76ers and, hopefully, (for) all parties.” 

Harden was fined $100,000 in August for public trade demands, which included calling Morey a "liar." He hasn't spoken on the record since then.

“He said what he meant, and I think that was well-reported on," Morey said Monday. "Obviously I haven’t responded to that because I think it falls flat on its face. Twenty years of working in the league, I’ve always followed through on everything. Every top agent knows that; everyone in the league knows. You can’t operate in this job without that.

“Privately, I’ve appreciated all the key people in the league reaching out to me and knowing, obviously, that that’s not true. So ... obviously it was disappointing that he chose to handle it in that way.”

Morey indicated he hasn't dipped the bar for what he'd deem a sufficient trade.

“We’ll either move James for a player of a caliber that helps our championship contention or for draft picks and things like that … that will allow us to, in short order, go get a player like that," Morey said. “Short of that, it will continue for as long as that takes.” 

The Sixers were in a similar spot two seasons ago when Ben Simmons skipped media day and held out for the beginning of training camp. Eventually, they dealt him to the Nets before the trade deadline and landed Harden.

The team is set to open Nick Nurse's first training camp as the team's head coach on Tuesday at Colorado State University.

“We’ve obviously got Plan A and Plan B," Nurse said. “We’ve got to get the team ready regardless. We’re expecting him to show up. If he shows up, we go. If he doesn’t, we go.

“There’s two ways to look at it. And we proceed and really get to work at building our foundation of what we want to do, getting all our principles in and playing the style of play we want to play regardless.”

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