James Harden

No Harden on Day 1 of Sixers camp, but he's reportedly expected to join team

The Sixers didn't have Harden at Tuesday's practice in Colorado.

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FORT COLLINS, Co. — James Harden wasn't in the building for Day 1 of Sixers training camp. 

His holdout may not last long, though. 

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday as the Sixers wrapped up practice at Colorado State University's Moby Arena that Harden “is expected to arrive in Colorado as soon as (Tuesday) to join training camp.”

Wojnarowski reported that his arrival "may be different than just assuming Harden is going to be a full-fledged member of this organization again."

When asked about Harden’s status moving forward, Sixers head coach Nick Nurse did not offer much.

“I do know that he wasn’t here today,” Nurse said. “If he’s here tomorrow, like we’ve said on everything, we’ll get ready to make some adjustments on everything. We’ll see what happens.”

Indeed, Nurse acknowledged Monday at the Sixers’ Harden-less media day that the team needs contingencies — "Plan A and Plan B" — to adapt to whatever comes next with the 10-time All-Star.

Tyrese Maxey was happy to talk Tuesday about his playmaking craft and the skills he’s aiming to develop as a lead ball handler. That general area has grown more prominent for the Sixers since Harden’s trade request.

“I think one thing I’ve got to figure out is, since I had the ball so much today in practice, I’ve got to be comfortable with making certain decisions,” Maxey said. “Like, ‘OK, it’s my turn to score’ — managing the game. But it feels really good. I got in the paint, got a lot of guys open threes, hit some pocket passes for (Paul Reed) and Mo Bamba, (threw) some lobs. 

“Today was pretty fun. It was cool, and it’s going to be a learning experience. I did it all in high school and before that. And then at Kentucky, I went to doing something different. Here, I’ve done so many different things. … So I’m good. I’m happy."

On Harden, the 22-year-old was more matter-of-fact.

“Today we just came in and practiced,” Maxey said. “If he comes in, that would be great. I love James, like I said. … That would be great. As a brotherhood, we would love to see him. Right now, we have to focus on practice today. It was great.” 

Maxey described 35-year-old Patrick Beverley as “extremely vocal” on Day 1 and appreciated the veteran’s constant communication.

For his post-practice session with reporters, Beverley opted to take a seat. 

“The altitude is kicking my ass,” he joked.

As one could presume, he likes the sound of his former Rockets teammate joining the Sixers soon. 

“Happy," Beverley said. “Like I’ve said and will continue to say, it’s hard to replace or get anything that (resembles) James Harden. So hell yeah, he can catch a vibe here.

“We’re (welcoming) him with open arms. Obviously there’s things they have to deal with … the front office. It’s kind of out of our hands. But as far as teammates, hell yeah, we can’t wait to see him.”

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