After two seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers, All-Star James Harden received his wish and was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday.
The James Harden saga has officially come to an end in Philadelphia. In the middle of the night on Monday, Harden was shipped to the Los Angeles Clippers for Marcus Morris, Nic Batum, Robert Covington, KJ Martin, a 2028 unprotected first-round pick, and two-second-round picks and a pick swap. In return the Sixers sent veteran P.J. Tucker and Filip Petrusev to the Clippers. A three-team trade, the Clippers sent a 2027 first-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for a 2026 first round pick. As a result, Philadelphia has waived journeyman Danny Green.
BREAKING: The Philadelphia 76ers have agreed on a trade to send guard James Harden to the Los Angeles Clippers, sources tell ESPN. pic.twitter.com/wAyuJKMfAw— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 31, 2023
- James Harden
- P.J. Tucker
- Filip Petrusev
- Nic Batum
- Robert Covington
- Marcus Morris
- KJ Martin
- 1st Round Pick (Thunder)
- Two 2nd Round Picks (Clippers)
- 2028 1st Round Pick (Clippers)
Together again 💙— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 31, 2023
Russell Westbrook and James Harden are the only players in NBA history to bring home multiple scoring and assist titles. pic.twitter.com/ap86ZZTmTj
Harden joins his fourth team in two years
This isn't James Hardens first rodeo when it comes to trade requests. After spending his first three seasons with Oklahoma City, Harden was traded to Houston back in 2012 after failing to reach a contract extension with the team. From there, the guard spent nine seasons in Houston, before requesting a trade out. In 2021, James Harden was traded to the Brooklyn Nets, and formed a 'Big 3' with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Just a year later, Harden was sought another trade out of Brooklyn.
This time, his request was to be traded to Eastern Conference rival Philadelphia 76ers. His main reason? He wanted to reunite with Daryl Morey, who was the General Manager of the Houston Rockets during his tenure there. Morey, now the President of Basketball Operations for the Philadelphia 76ers found himself in a tumultuous relationship with the Sixers guard.
This past summer, Harden called Morey a "liar," and the relationship was unrepairable. At one point Harden stated, "“I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of.” Months after requesting a trade to the Clippers, Harden is now reunited with Russell Westbrook from their Oklahoma City days.
James Harden has now been on 4 different teams since 2021 😳— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) October 31, 2023
Houston Rockets - 2021
Brooklyn Nets - 2021-22
Philadelphia 76ers - 2022-23
Los Angeles Clippers - 2023-present pic.twitter.com/maGjteuDOf
In his 16th career season, James Harden has 14 career playoff appearances, in which he's never made it to the NBA Finals. He now joins a talented Clippers group, which now consists of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Russell Westbrook, Ivica Zubac, P.J. Tucker among others. In his NBA tenure, the guard has a career average of 24.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 7 assists, and 1.5 steals. He joins a Clipper franchise that's never won an NBA title, although the optimism is at an all-time high.
The Clippers are legitimate contenders
After losing in the Western Conference Semifinals five times since 2006, Los Angeles now pose a real threat in the west. With a healthy Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, the Clippers are 2-1 on the season, and have wins over Portland and San Antonio. With a new found hope, the Clippers big three have quite the accomplished resume. Although an older group, they have 29 combined All-Star appearances, one NBA Title (Leonard with the Raptors), and two MVP trophies.
Harden hasn't played a single game for the Philadelphia 76ers this season, and will earn just over $35 million for the 2023-2024 season. The Clippers now have several newly acquired players who's contracts will expire next season. With the core of Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, this should open up opportunities for the Sixers to acquire another All-Star. According to ESPN, these expiring contracts, between Marcus Morris, Nic Batum, Robert Covington, KJ Martin could add up to $50-$60 million in cap space in the offseason.
It's a risk that could pay off for Los Angeles
At 34 years old, Los Angeles will take on a tremendous risk with Harden as part of their championship run. Although the Clippers have trouble staying healthy, Harden still remains of the of the best guards in the NBA. Without Harden, the Clippers are second in the league in offensive rating (120.5),and lead the league in three-point percentage (41.4 percent). Top 5 defensively, Harden will join Westbrook in a familiar backcourt duo. With his deadly step back three and health stability, it's now or never for the Los Angles Clippers.
According to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, James Harden is "ecstatic" to join the Clippers. In addition, there is a possibility he will be in attendance for Tuesdays matchup against the Magic. Once a former MVP, the ball is in Hardens court for one last dance.
According to Draft Kings, the Clippers are now the top five favored teams to win the NBA Title with +1200 odds
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Sara Jane Gamelli is a full-time Sportswriter at Ballislife, and a Sports Content Creator on Twitch and TikTok. She has a focus on the NBA, WNBA, NCAA Basketball, and the NFL. Sara Jane currently resides in Connecticut with her Cat and Dog. SJ has her undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut in Economics, with a minor in business administration.Tweets by BallislifeBets