The Philadelphia 76ers are taking a patient approach when it comes to James Harden's pending trade request, and the organization isn't operating with any urgency when it comes to moving the star guard. As a result, there's potential for the stalemate between the two sides to stretch into training camp in the fall. If it lasts that long, Harden is expected to report to training camp, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. However, that wouldn't necessarily be a good thing for Philly, as Harden has a history of using his behavior in order to get his way, and he remains interested in joining the Los Angeles Clippers

From Fischer: 

Harden is a future Hall of Famer, a Top 75 player of all time with scoring titles and an MVP of his own. He is also well practiced — from the end of Harden's tenure in Houston, as well as Brooklyn — in conduct that can drive a team toward relenting and finally moving on from the talented guard. If this saga does drag out through September and until Media Day on Oct. 2, Harden is expected at this point to report to training camp, according to league sources. You can cause far more headaches for the organization you're trying to leave by showing up, as opposed to staying home. With both the Rockets and Nets, Harden made various trips away from the team for various nightlife activities. He made Brooklyn feel it had no other option but to trade him to the Sixers before the 2022 trade deadline, or risk losing him for nothing. With Philadelphia, Harden's side is very much of the belief joining the Clippers is not a matter of if, but when.  

The Sixers still hope that Harden will change his mind and opt to play out the final year of his current contract in Philadelphia, and their public stance continues to be that they'll only trade the former MVP if a deal is beneficial for the franchise in the present. So far, no such deal has materialized, but that could potentially change before the start of camp. 

Philadelphia obviously has some recent experience when it comes to entering a season with a disgruntled star guard, as a similar situation transpired two years ago when Ben Simmons requested a trade out of Philly and ultimately sat out until his wish was granted. He was eventually traded to the Brooklyn Nets for... Harden. It's a pretty full-circle situation. 

However, the difference is that Simmons had already signed a guaranteed max contract prior to his holdout, while Harden currently has no guaranteed money to his name after the '23-24 season. For that reason, it's in Harden's best interest to play -- and to play well -- next season, as he'll be seeking a fresh deal next summer. Sitting out or playing poorly out of spite could severely dampen his future earning potential. 

The Sixers, though, do have some incentive to get a deal done before training camp. Doing so would avoid the potential of Harden souring the locker room. Harden has proven that he can be a distraction when he isn't happy with his surrounding, and the Sixers don't need that. Reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid had to deal with the Simmons distraction for half of a season not too long ago, and it seems unlikely that he's eager to do so again. 

Embiid is pretty much the only thing currently keeping the Sixers in the contention conversation in the Eastern Conference, and it's in the organization's best interest to keep him happy. Another distracting drama that drags on and negatively impacts his supporting cast could potentially have the opposite effect.