The Beard might be heading dwelling.

James Harden is predicted to rejoin the Houston Rockets this summer season as a free agent, in keeping with Philadelphia Inquirer sources.

Harden, who starred in Houston from 2012-21, successful the 2018 MVP award and making 9 straight All-Star appearances whereas being the NBA’s scoring chief from 2018-2020, is predicted to decide out of his $35.6 million deal for 2023-24 with the 76ers.

There are a number of causes to think about the longstanding reunion rumors authentic, beginning with the Rockets having about $60 million in cap area this offseason.

One other is the rapport Harden and Rockets proprietor Tillman Fertitta have.

The Athletic reported the billionaire informed the scorer, “You’re all the time welcome again right here,” after he was traded to the Nets in a 2021 deadline blockbuster.

Harden’s mom additionally nonetheless lives in Houston, a metropolis the place he has a number of companies and, in keeping with Inquirer sources, is “handled like a god” there.

James Harden is predicted to decide out of his contract with the 76ers and head again to Houston.

“The love and emotions are mutual,” he mentioned earlier than the Sixers battled the Rockets on Dec. 5 in Houston. “That’s by no means going to vary. Like I mentioned, I nonetheless personal my dwelling right here. A variety of household nonetheless lives right here.

“That feeling received’t change. What I meant by the sport is clearly there’s no larger win or loss [in Houston compared to other places], however having that household setting round me is just a little totally different.”

Harden was traded to Philly in 2022 after a disastrous, injury-marred try and construct a Large 3 in Brooklyn, and teamed up with 2023 MVP Joel Embiid to show the Sixers right into a authentic championship contender.

Philadelphia fell quick in opposition to the Celtics within the Jap Convention semifinals, bringing about rumors of Harden’s 79-game tenure with the Sixers.

James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets handles the ball
Harden starred throughout his nine-season run with Houston, throughout which he was the 2018 NBA MVP.
NBAE through Getty Photos

The 33-year-old is reportedly searching for a aggressive roster and basketball freedom, per Bleacher Report, and a younger Houston workforce might supply each.

The 76ers aren’t going to surrender on Harden simply but and stay “fascinated by bringing him again,” GM Daryl Morey informed reported this week.

“State of affairs A could be to carry James again,” he sayd. “State of affairs B, if he’s not again, can be we’ll should get artistic. And we be ok with the instruments obtainable to us if that occurs.”

The Sixers’ state of affairs is unsettled in the intervening time after the firing of coach Doc Rivers this week.