Earlier this offseason, James Harden opted into his $35.6 million contract with Philadelphia for this upcoming season.
According to Harden, part of his decision relied on the fact that the Sixers general manager (Daryl Morey) promised to trade him quickly. Months later, Harden is still a player for the organization.

A few days ago, the drama between Harden and Philadelphia escalated even more. During a press event in China, Harden told reporters that Morey was a “liar” and that he would never play under his management again. It was a strong message sent on the other side of the world, yet the question remains if Harden will ever suit up for the 76ers again.

The expectation at the beginning of the season was for the two sides to work together to find a new destination for Harden. But when trade talks fell through, it didn’t seem like a backup plan was in store. Since then, the offseason has continued to spiral out of control.

With a championship-caliber team window slowly fading away, what bright spot can be found in this mess?

One of the most vital players on this roster is Tyrese Maxey. The young guard is entering his third season in the NBA and is on the verge of inking an extension.

Philadelphia has until October 23rd to decide whether Maxey will receive the contract extension in 2023 or 2024.

If Harden finds a new team, it will present an even larger role for Maxey.

There is an opportunity for him to develop into one of the next young stars once the organization hands him the keys to the future.

Although this offseason has been quite a disaster, Philadelphia should not be counted out by any means in the Eastern Conference, which is always up for grabs.

Photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images

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