This is from a Chris Haynes notebook at Bleacher Report:

Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden intends to decline his $35.6 million player option to become an unrestricted free agent this summer in order to secure a long-term deal, league sources tell Bleacher Report.

Harden, 33, took a sizable pay cut last offseason to help the Sixers build the roster out. The guard will now be seeking a four-year contract.

The Houston Rockets have long been a rumored destination, but sources say Harden will only entertain suitors that present a competitive roster and the basketball freedom for the star to be himself, sources say.

Daryl Morey said at Wednesday’s press conference that the franchise is interested in bringing Harden back. Obviously the player option puts that out of their control, though they could certainly offer him a long-term deal instead. Morey was asked several questions about Harden at the media availability and just didn’t have much to say about the topic, understandably so. That’s not something where details are going to be offered up willingly.

The question is whether or not Harden is the best play the Sixers have right now. If he walks, is there a replacement out there who improves the squad? Not so sure. You also have to consider the Tobias Harris contract and find a new coach, with Morey saying that the players will not have any input in that decision.