The James Harden updates had been of little value after news broke that he would be opting into the final year of his contract in hopes of a trade out of Philadelphia. But, as we sit in the middle of August and training camp creeps up, the drama has quickly spiked.

Harden delivered the latest move himself in front of a live audience on his China tour, authoring a quote that hit the news cycle early Monday morning:

This comes less than 48 hours after ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Sixers ended trade discussions around Harden with the intention of bringing him to training camp.

Shortly after Wojnarowski broke the news, The Athletic's Sam Amick provided some intel from Harden's side:

"No matter what signals the Sixers might send when it comes to trade talks, a source close to Harden reiterated that the 10-time All-Star and former MVP no longer wants to play for Philadelphia and has no plans of taking part in training camp."

Of course, Harden's words - repeated once to make sure the message is clear - come with the force of a shock paddle you'd find in a hospital emergency room.

There are several layers to unpack here. On the basketball side, he nixes any current hope that the Sixers could convince him to partake in training camp and play actual basketball games as a meaningfully motivated contributor on their team.

That proactively puts strain on all of Harden's teammates before they even suit up for a regular-season game, making it clear that they'll have to carry some extra burden on the court to make up for his absence until the situation reaches some conclusion.

It also indirectly points arrows back at Daryl Morey. Harden's phrasing suggests that this situation could be remedied with him returning to Philadelphia if the president of basketball operations is no longer working for their mutual employer. Part of Harden's game there is ostensibly to create momentum for the Sixers' most important players to make Josh Harris and company aware that they support their teammate in a one-or-the-other scenario.

The non-basketball side is, well, damning. In calling Morey a liar, Harden is opening up a whole new line of questioning. What expectation did Morey set? What actions were taken to convey what truths?

In more clear terms, did Harden have reason to believe a lucrative contract was coming when he decided to take a pay-cut on a one-plus-one deal last offseason? Was he led to believe that Philadelphia would attempt to have more meaningful trade conversations than he currently believes they have had since he opted into his deal in late June?

One thing is certain: Harden shares blame in this.

Harden didn't have to opt into the final year of his contract, especially when the alternative would've meant an easy separation from a boss who he apparently thinks so little of. But, the reality is that the market didn't think of him quite as highly as he thinks of himself.

"It's my job to recognize your tactic, to counter it, and come up with my own tactics," said Mark Termini, a prominent NBA agent, during a recent episode of The Hoop Collective podcast.

From Harden's side, the current tactic is to create some shock value.

It wasn't all that long ago that he posted two sentences on his Instagram Story: "Been comfortable for so long. It's time to get uncomfortable." Now, Harden is trying to make the Sixers uncomfortable by opening the door to what he feels is the truth.

Learn about Cape May County's Breweries (Alphabetical Order)

More From 97.3 ESPN