The James Harden Trade Details:
- James Harden
- PJ Tucker
- Filip Petrusev (flipped to Sacramento)
Why the Clips decided to trade so much draft capital to the 76ers for Harden will never make sense to me. Nobody else wanted him! The market was dry. They were literally bidding against themselves. They had all the leverage, especially because they’ve looked good so far this season. 28 other teams in the league, and not a single one had any interest in James Harden. The Clips were the only game in town. And still, Morey got the better of them. Perhaps they looked around the West and realized, even IF Kawhi & PG13 are healthy come playoff time, they likely couldn’t beat the Suns, Lakers, or Warriors (much less the Nuggets). So I understand taking a swing, especially as they’re about to enter their new stadium, the Intuit Dome, next season. I just wish they didn’t swing for chronic quitter James Harden. Grade: C-
- Nic Batum
- Rober Covington
- Marcus Morris
- KJ Martin
- Unprotected 2028 first-round pick (via Clippers)
- 2024 & 2029 2nd-round picks (via Clippers)
- The 2024 second-round pick acquired by the Sixers will be either the Raptors’, Pacers’, Jazz’s, or Cavaliers’ pick, whichever is most favorable. If either the Jazz’s or Cavaliers’ pick is the most favorable, Philadelphia would instead receive the second-most favorable of the four.
- 2026 1st-round pick from Thunder
- Either the Rockets’ (top-four protected), Clippers’, or Thunder’s 2026 first-round pick (whichever is least favorable)
- Top 3 protected 2029 1st-round pick swap (via Clippers)
Morey does it again. Don’t get me wrong. He’s received 4 role players, one of whom doesn’t even play anymore (Morris) and some draft capital for James Harden. Furthermore, if you took a 20,000 foot view of the assets involved in this, it actually looks much worse, as they essentially traded the 2016 #1 overall draft pick (Ben Simmons), the 2023 1st round pick (Brice Sensabaugh), their 2027 1st round pick, Seth Curry & Andre Drummond for 4 role players and some draft capital. However, when no one the league wanted him, except for one team in the other conference who doesn’t really even need him in the first place, the fact that they got the draft compensation haul to begin with is phenomenal. Plus, they get rid of a major headache, a team distraction, a selfish player whose game was slipping. Oh, and make no mistake, just because he led the league in assists doesn’t mean he’s unselfish. He was chasing those assists. He’s a stat padder. ESPN ranked him #43 on their overall player rankings. He’s lucky to be that high. Good riddance. Grade: C+
- Acquire the right to swap either their own 2027 first-round pick or the Nuggets’ 2027 first-round pick (top-five protected) for the Clippers’ 2027 first-round pick (unprotected) and cash ($1.1MM; from Clippers).
Basically, this means the Thunder now have the right to swap (what is likely) a mid to late 1st rounder (either theirs or the Nuggets’) for an unprotected 2027 Clippers 1st rounder, which, given the Clippers’ aging roster, has a chance to be pretty high. In other words, they’re betting on themselves to be much better than the Clips in 2027. Grade: C+
Let me be clear: I hate James Harden. He and Bill Laimbeer are neck and beard competing for the number 1 spot on my Most Hated Players list. Harden is one of the most selfish “superstar” players in NBA history. The fact that he has managed to get his way, AGAIN, simply doesn’t sit well with me. So, I’m biased. My opinions should be taken with a big fat bottle of Morton Salt.
Let me be clear a second time: I’m all for Player Empowerment. 99.9999% of the time, I side with the players over management/ownership. But it’s important to identity the difference between Player Empowerment and Player Scumbag:
- Player Empowerment is LeBron deciding to leave Cleveland, as a free agent, to sign a $100mil contract to play basketball with his best friends in South Beach.
- Player Scumbag is James Harden quitting on 3 consecutive organizations despite A) initially demanding a trade to each of those organizations, and B) being under contract – a contract he willingly signed.
All this aside, this is not a “Don’t hate the player, hate the game” situation. Because I hate his game too. If the history of the NBA has proven anything, it’s that heliocentric basketball – one where an entire offense revolves around a single player whose usage rate is above 27% season after season FOR 10 YEARS – does not lead to playoff success.
- He refuses to move without the ball
- He refuses to set screens
- He’s arguably the worst defender in the NBA not named Trae
- He flops and flails and plays the ref more than he does the defender
- He bitches and complains more than anyone not named Luka
- He fails over and over in the playoffs & never accepts accountability
- His “Dribble a Dozen Times, Make No Passes, Waste 20 Seconds on the Shot Clock, Then Shoot a Contested Stepback 3” style of offense is cringe-inducing.
- Seriously, if anyone you speak with says he finds Harden’s game exciting, consider disassociating yourself from that person. For he/she does NOT know Ball.
Yes, he has some good qualities. Wait, let me rephrase. His Game has some good qualities. He’s a terrific 3pt shooter, solid ball handler, and is a pick and roll genius on the level of a Nash or Stockton. But, gross, I despise even giving this dude a compliment. He represents all that is wrong with the NBA. And that’s all I have to say about James Harden, the individual person or player.
What will the Clippers look like?
- Kawhi, Harden, Russ, and PG13 all play their best with the ball in their hands
- PG13 is probably the best player of that group (when Kawhi is banged up), and he’s really the only one that can play off the ball. He’ll make the biggest sacrifice.
- Norm Powell’s and Terrance Mann’s Field Goal attempts just took a massive hit
- Russ & Harden already have been teammates, twice. The last attempt didn’t work out well. Played one season in Houston and became sick of each other. I have no reason to believe this will turn out any differently.
- I anticipate they’ll use Harden as an “innings-eater,” meaning the guy who will carry a regular season load, allowing Kawhi & PG13 to stay healthy so they can take over from Harden come playoff time.
What will the 76ers look like?
- Maxey is now the man. He was already probably a better player than Harden anyway. Now he doesn’t have to worry about him.
- They’ve replaced Tucker with 3 guys who do Tucker-esque things, only better.
- Embiid is probably overjoyed that he doesn’t have to worry about the distraction anymore
- Their draft treasure chest is now restored, and Morey has stated publicly he wants to trade for another star caliber scorer (coughzachcoughlavinecough)