James Harden’s trade to the Los Angeles Clippers comes after a turbulent summer with the Philadelphia 76ers: Reports

James Harden’s trade to the Los Angeles Clippers comes after a turbulent summer with the Philadelphia 76ers: Reports

The Philadelphia 76ers’ management has reached an agreement to trade James Harden, a 10-time NBA All-Star and former MVP, to the Los Angeles Clippers. This trade was confirmed by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the 76ers are expected to receive Marcus Morris, Nic Batum, Robert Covington, Kenyon Martin Jr., and multiple draft picks as part of the trade. Additionally, P.J. Tucker and Filip Petrušev are included in the deal and will be going to the Los Angeles Clippers.

The trade package for the Philadelphia 76ers also includes a 2028 unprotected first-round pick, second-round picks in 2024 and 2029, a 2029 pick swap, and a protected 2026 first-round pick from the Oklahoma City Thunder, as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski. Notably, the 2026 pick from the Thunder will be the least valuable of the three picks owned by the Thunder, according to information from Yahoo Sports senior NBA reporter Jake Fischer.

As part of the trade deal, the Philadelphia 76ers will waive Danny Green to open up a roster spot, as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski. Additionally, the Clippers will send a 2027 first-round pick swap to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

James Harden, who has not played in the current season, was prevented from boarding the team’s plane for their two-game season-opening road trip last week. The NBA initiated an investigation into his absence. However, he returned to the team’s bench for their home opener on Sunday. He was scheduled to practice with the team again on Tuesday and prepare for his season debut, likely to occur as early as Thursday.

James Harden will now be joining the Los Angeles Clippers and is expected to start his season with the team. The exact date for his debut is yet to be determined. The Clippers have won two of their first three games this season and are set to face the Orlando Magic on Tuesday.

Reports suggest that Harden is “ecstatic” about joining the Clippers and might even be present at Crypto.com Arena for Tuesday’s game, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.

James Harden's trade to the Los Angeles Clippers comes after a turbulent summer with the Philadelphia 76ers: Reports

Shortly before the start of free agency, James Harden exercised his $35.6 million option for the 2023-24 season, and shortly after, he requested a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers, with his preference being to join the Los Angeles Clippers. When information surfaced that the 76ers couldn’t secure a trade deal that met their expectations for Harden and anticipated his participation in training camp, Harden emphasized his stance regarding his relationship with the team’s front office.

James Harden made a strong statement about Daryl Morey, calling him a liar during a promotional event in China. He later repeated this statement to ensure it was captured on camera. The NBA imposed a $100,000 fine on Harden for suggesting that he would not fulfill the obligations outlined in his player contract unless he was traded to a different team. The exact nature of the deceit mentioned by Harden remains unclear, whether it pertained to an unrealized contract extension or his ongoing trade request.

Daryl Morey, the Philadelphia 76ers’ executive, was not surprised by James Harden’s comments, and they have not deterred him from his pursuit to secure a fair return for Harden, whom he once referred to as “the best offensive player of all time.” The trade agreement for Harden may be viewed as having met or adjusted to Morey’s demands, depending on one’s perspective of Harden’s recent performance and the package the Sixers are receiving in exchange. The most significant perspective on this matter is that of the reigning league MVP, Joel Embiid. His views on the changing dynamics within the team, with the transitions from Ben Simmons to Harden, will be closely observed.

During the previous season, James Harden posted impressive stats, averaging 21 points with shooting splits of 44% from the field, 39% from three-point range, and 87% from the free-throw line. He also led the league in assists with an average of 10.7 per game and contributed 6.1 rebounds per game. His performance played a pivotal role in Philadelphia’s journey to reach Game 7 in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

James Harden’s performance has evolved over the years. While he was a dominant force from 2016 to 2020, winning three consecutive scoring titles and consistently ranking in the top three in MVP voting, his more recent stats indicate a shift in his playing style. For example, his average of 6.2 free-throw attempts per game is the lowest since his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder when he earned the Sixth Man of the Year award in 2012. Additionally, his defensive abilities have regressed from an already below-average level. However, Harden’s playmaking skills have remained exceptional.

During the conference semifinals last season, James Harden displayed moments of brilliance, scoring 40 points in two victories against the Boston Celtics. However, in the four losses of the series, he struggled, averaging only 12.5 points per game on a 21.8% shooting rate from the field. This uneven performance likely contributed to the series favoring their rival. It’s worth noting that even during his prime, Harden wasn’t particularly known for being a clutch playoff performer.

There are valid concerns about James Harden’s health and commitment to helping a team win. Soft-tissue injuries have been a persistent issue for Harden since his arrival at Houston’s training camp in 2020 in less than ideal shape. He struggled with strained hamstrings in both legs during the playoffs in 2021 and 2022. In the most recent season, a strained tendon in his right foot and a sore left Achilles caused him to miss 24 games. Over the past three seasons, he has missed an average of 23 games per season, which is a notable increase compared to his prior 11 seasons when he missed no more than nine games in any single campaign.

James Harden made a significant financial sacrifice when he declined a $47.4 million option last summer, accepting $14 million less. This allowed the Philadelphia 76ers to bring in players like P.J. Tucker and Danuel House Jr. However, despite these moves, the Sixers still couldn’t secure an NBA title.

It’s worth noting that Harden has a history of leaving teams when it appears they won’t provide him with a chance to win an NBA championship. He left the Houston Rockets in 2021 and the Brooklyn Nets in 2022, both times requesting trades even though he still had years left on his substantial contract.

James Harden’s move to the Los Angeles Clippers will make him a part of his fourth team within just two calendar years, adding another unique twist to what is arguably one of the most unusual superstar careers in the NBA’s history.

 

 

 

 

 

( Source: Yahoo Sports )