James Harden’s wish to move away from the Philadelphia 76ers has finally been fulfilled. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the 76ers have agreed on a deal to trade Harden to the LA Clippers. The 10-time NBA All-Star and one-time NBA MVP will move to the Clippers as part of a deal which involves the 76ers receiving Marcus Morris, Nic Batum, Robert Covington, Kenyon Martin Jr., a 2028 unprotected first-round pick, two second-round picks, a pick swap and an additional first-round pick from a third team. In addition, the Clippers will receive Power Forward P.J. Tucker and Center Filip Petrušev.
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About James Harden
James Harden is unique. He is a ball dominant guard that is one of the most prolific scorers the NBA has ever seen. Beyond his ability to rack up points, he is an incredible dribbler and passer. He is a master of creating space in basketball. He uses his movement to deceive defenders and make them think they know what he is going to do next, only to do something completely unexpected. His movements are incredibly controlled, allowing him to slow down or speed up at any time.
He was the third pick in the draft back in 2009 when he was picked up by the Oklahoma City Thunder. He spent 3 successful seasons at Oklahoma where he established himself as a star player. In 2012, he moved to the Houston Rockets where he would enjoy his longest and most memorable stunt in the NBA thus far. With the Rockets, he was one of the most unstoppable offensive players in the NBA. After the Rockets, he spent a season and a half in Brooklyn with the Nets. Finally, moving to the 76ers where he averaged 22.0 points, 10.3 assists, and 7.7 rebounds per game in 2022-23.
He is a controversial figure in Basketball. His playstyle and demeanor have split opinions for years. Regardless, the one thing that everyone can agree on is that he is an icon of the sport.
A Disgruntled Harden
His wish to depart from the Sixers stemmed from his desire for a rewarding, multi-year contract. The Sixers were unwilling to meet his demands and the only solution for both parties seemed to be them going their own separate ways. Harden’s ball dominant playstyle also interfered with Joel Embiid’s playstyle, with the two struggling to coexist. He also has a reputation of becoming unbearable when things don’t go his way, things were no different with the 76ers.
The breakdown in relationship between Harden and the 76ers executive, Daryl Morey, also catalyzed the trade. He wanted to be the focal point of the 76ers offence while Morey wished for a more balanced side that is equally cohesive in offence and defense. Morey tried to negotiate with Harden but the two couldn’t come to an agreement. Things even went as far as Harden calling Morey “a liar” during a speech in China. As a result, the only viable solution became Harden’s departure.
A new era in LA
Clippers fans will hope that Harden’s playmaking and dribbling will complement Power Forward Kawhi Leonard and Shooting Guard Paul George and charge the team to their much awaited first NBA Title. With Kawhi, George and Point Guard Russell Westbrook all excited about the deal, the Clippers find themselves with four potential Hall of Famers. Tyronn Lue will now be responsible for getting the most out of his star players. While the team may have lost some depth, the overall quality of the roster has undeniably improved, which could put them in a good position to win a championship.