The Philadelphia 76ers officially unveiled Nick Nurse as their new head coach on Thursday. Unsurprisingly, one of the most significant topics the new Sixers shot-caller was faced with was the prospect of James Harden's looming free agency. Harden's future with the team is currently shrouded in doubt amid rumors of a possible return to the Houston Rockets. Needless to say, this will be one of the most important issues on Nurse's plate early on in his tenure.
Nurse was deliberate with his response when it came to what the future holds for Harden in Philadelphia. The one-time NBA champion coach knows that this is currently a precarious situation, and he clearly did not want to step on anybody's toes. However, what is also clear is that if he was given a choice, Nick Nurse would love for Harden to remain in Philly. In fact, he already has a plan in place in terms of trying to convince the former MVP to stay:
“Winning has to be the sell, right?” Nurse said, via Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “Can we be good enough to win it all? That's got to be a goal of his.
“And if it is, then he should stay here and play for us, because I think there's a possibility of that.”
There's no better way to sell a player on a team than by teasing him with an NBA title. Nurse has already done this in the past with the Toronto Raptors, so he certainly has the cache to be talking about championships. Whether or not he and the Sixers are able to convince James Harden on this front, however, remains to be seen.