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James Harden’s training camp no-show could have serious ramifications under new CBA

Photo: Philadelphia 76ers/Twitter

Reports have surfaced indicating that James Harden has opted to decline the upcoming 76ers training camp for the 2023-24 season, a move that could have far-reaching consequences in light of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

Harden’s choice to forego reporting to the training camp comes on the heels of Philadelphia’s inability to fulfill his trade request. The former league MVP had explicitly expressed a preference for joining the Clippers; however, the Sixers were unable to secure a trade deal that aligned with their interests.

The potential consequences for Harden not adhering to his contractual obligations are spelled out in the CBA. According to NBA Front Office insider Bobby Marks, who took to Twitter/X to elaborate, the CBA specifies the ramifications under the “Withholding Services” clause.

If a player withholds their services for more than thirty days following the start of the last season covered by their Player Contract, they would be deemed to have not completed their contract by rendering the stipulated playing services.

As a result, such a player would not retain the status of a Veteran Free Agent, impeding their ability to negotiate or sign a Player Contract with any other professional basketball team, unless the last team they played for explicitly agreed otherwise.

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