NBA: Will James Harden return for Philadelphia 76ers vs Portland Trail Blazers?

NBA: Will James Harden return for Philadelphia 76ers vs Portland Trail Blazers?

James Harden watches Philadelphia 76ers' home opener from bench, sits out third straight game

James Harden watches Philadelphia 76ers' home opener from bench, sits out third straight game

James Harden was out for the 76ers. Joel Embiid was in, after the reigning 

James Harden was out for the 76ers. Joel Embiid was in, after the reigning 

NBA MVP skipped a chance to rest and started Sunday night in Philadelphia's home opener.

NBA MVP skipped a chance to rest and started Sunday night in Philadelphia's home opener.

Harden's absence against Portland was no surprise — the 10-time All-Star has now 

Harden's absence against Portland was no surprise — the 10-time All-Star has now 

missed all three games in the wake of his offseason trade demand. Officially, the Sixers say 

missed all three games in the wake of his offseason trade demand. Officially, the Sixers say 

Harden needs to "ramp up" his conditioning before he can return to play. 

Harden needs to "ramp up" his conditioning before he can return to play. 

Harden has continued to practice with the Sixers and participated in Sunday's film session and walkthrough.

Harden has continued to practice with the Sixers and participated in Sunday's film session and walkthrough.

Harden wore a yellow hoodie and jeans as he sat on the bench for opening night.

Harden wore a yellow hoodie and jeans as he sat on the bench for opening night.

Harden did not travel with the Sixers on their opening-week road trip and was told to stay back and practice with the team's G League players.

Harden did not travel with the Sixers on their opening-week road trip and was told to stay back and practice with the team's G League players.

"The report on him is, he had some good conditioning days," coach Nick Nurse said. 

"The report on him is, he had some good conditioning days," coach Nick Nurse said. 

"All signs are positive, conditioning-wise. Just need to get in some live action."

"All signs are positive, conditioning-wise. Just need to get in some live action."

Nurse said he expected Harden to practice on Tuesday. The 76ers don't play again until Thursday.

Nurse said he expected Harden to practice on Tuesday. The 76ers don't play again until Thursday.

The 76ers only introduced their starting lineup on Sunday so Harden wasn't included, 

The 76ers only introduced their starting lineup on Sunday so Harden wasn't included, 

Before the team's season opener, Harden was told to stay home by the Sixers. 

Before the team's season opener, Harden was told to stay home by the Sixers. 

He showed up to the team's complex in Camden, New Jersey, after missing 

He showed up to the team's complex in Camden, New Jersey, after missing 

multiple practices due to a personal matter. He also never played in the preseason. 

multiple practices due to a personal matter. He also never played in the preseason. 

Harden requested a trade after he opted into his contract over the summer. 

Harden requested a trade after he opted into his contract over the summer. 

He wants to be traded to the Los Angeles Clippers, but that has yet to come to fruition. 

He wants to be traded to the Los Angeles Clippers, but that has yet to come to fruition. 

Embiid dropped 24 points in an opening-night loss at Milwaukee and scored 34 points in a win 

Embiid dropped 24 points in an opening-night loss at Milwaukee and scored 34 points in a win 

Saturday night against Toronto. With three games in four days, and the opener coming on the back end of a back-to-back, 

Saturday night against Toronto. With three games in four days, and the opener coming on the back end of a back-to-back, 

Embiid almost sat out, a startlingly inconceivable notion for the first home game of the season.

Embiid almost sat out, a startlingly inconceivable notion for the first home game of the season.

But the NBA this season strengthened its rules about resting healthy players.

But the NBA this season strengthened its rules about resting healthy players.

 The league is already investigating the reasons behind Harden's absence from the 76ers' nationally televised season opener.

 The league is already investigating the reasons behind Harden's absence from the 76ers' nationally televised season opener.