Jake Fischer at Yahoo! Sports who is pretty plugged into the Sixers is reporting that the team is focused on re-signing James Harden to a deal less than the max he is allegedly pursuing:

Philadelphia has made it clear the Sixers are focused on re-signing Harden, who has until June 29 to decline a $35 million player option for next year. Similar to last summer, it appears that Philadelphia would prefer to sign Harden to a shorter-term agreement, one that still provides a lucrative payday for the 10-time All-Star but doesn’t present the Sixers with the possible predicament that Washington currently faces with Beal’s long-term salary. The Sixers will have various paths to move forward if Harden were to walk, particularly by exploring trades for Tobias Harris, who’s entering the final season of his five-year, $180 million contract. But Philadelphia, sources said, is not expected to target Fred VanVleet in the event Harden departs via free agency, despite the obvious connection to new Sixers head coach Nick Nurse, who won a championship with VanVleet in Toronto in 2019. One smaller trade element to monitor for Philadelphia: The Sixers are actively seeking opportunities to acquire a second-round pick in next Thursday’s draft, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Unless you’re in my camp and want to punt on the season next year instead of re-signing James Harden, actually re-signing Harden to a two year deal that provides cap flexibility is probably your next best option. It doesn’t get the fans re-energized, but it’s something. If they do re-sign Harden and attempt to trade Tobias Harris a Sixers first rounder will most likely be attached unless Daryl can perform some devil magic. Regarding the FVV news: who cares. The fact they’re actively seeking a second round pick is exciting. They could probably just buy one if Josh Harris didn’t spend all his money in the Commies sale. Morey’s been able to turn second rounders into serviceable NBA players like Paul Reed, Isaiah Joe, Charles Bassey, Chandler Parsons, Montrezl Harrell, Dillon Brooks, and De’Anthony Melton.

This has been your daily James Harden rumor update. Thank you for coming.