Daryl Morey’s long national dream is over.
Philadelphia 76ers executive has agreed to trade 10-time NBA All-Star and one-time MVP James Harden to the Los Angeles Clippers. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The 76ers will reportedly acquire Marcus Morris, Nick Bottom, Robert Covington, Kenyon Martin Jr. and draft picks. According to Wojnarowski. PJ Tucker and Filip Petrusev are also part of the deal and will head to LA, according to ESPN.
Philadelphia will receive 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. Wojnarowski said. According to Yahoo Sports’ senior NBA reporter Jake Fisher, the Thunder’s 2026 pick will be the least valuable pick of the three the Thunder own.
The 76ers will give up Danny Green to free up a roster spot to complete the deal. According to Wojnarowski. As part of the deal, the Clippers will send a 2027 first-round pick to Oklahoma City.
Harden has yet to play this fall and was reportedly held back by security from getting on the team’s plane for last week’s two-game, season-opening road trip. The NBA later launched an investigation into his absence, though Harden returned to the team’s bench for their home opener on Sunday. He trained with the team again on Tuesday and made his debut as soon as Thursday.
Now, Harden will move to the other side of the country and prepare to start his season with the Clippers instead. It is not known when he will debut. The Clippers have won two of their first three games this season and face the Orlando Magic on Tuesday.
Harden is reportedly “excited” to join the Clippers and could be at Crypto.com Arena for Tuesday’s game. According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
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Prior to free agency, Harden exercised his $35.6 million option through the 2023-24 season, only to request a trade from the Sixers, preferably to the Clippers. when Word got out to Wojnarowski While Philadelphia failed to find enough return for Harden and expected the 34-year-old to go into training camp, Harden made his position clear on his relationship with the front office.
“Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of,” Harden told a crowd at a promotional event in China last month. He repeated the statement to make sure the cameras caught it.
The NBA fined Harden $100,000 “unless he has indicated that he will not perform the services called for under his player contract unless he is traded to another team.” It’s unclear whether the deception Harden refers to refers to a lucrative contract extension that never materialized or his lingering trade request.
Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Morey is unfazed by Horton’s comments or unmoved in his quest to earn equal recognition for the player he once called “The best striker of all time.”
In reaching a deal to deal Harden, Morey either bought the 2018 MVP’s recent performance or dropped the asking price, depending on how you feel about the package the Sixers are getting. The most important comment on the matter comes from reigning league MVP Joel Embiid. His thoughts on the carousel that turned Ben Simmons into Harden will be closely watched for a new team dynamic.
Harden averaged 21 points (44/39/87 shooting splits), a league-high 10.7 assists and 6.1 rebounds over 58 games last season, helping Philadelphia reach Game 7 in another Eastern Conference semifinal.
The 14-year veteran was a non-player from 2016 to ’20, when he won three consecutive scoring titles and finished in the top-three in MVP voting in four straight seasons. His 6.2 free-throw attempts per game are his fewest since he won Sixth Man of the Year honors for the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012, and his defense has slipped from an already below-average level, but his play has been exceptional.
Harden flashed last season against the Boston Celtics in the conference semifinals, scoring 40 points in two straight wins, but his 12.5 points on 21.8% shooting from the field in four losses tipped the series in favor of the opponent. Even in his prime, Harden wasn’t known as a clutch playoff performer.
His health and concern for helping a team win should also be there. Soft tissue injuries have plagued Harden since he arrived in Houston’s 2020 training camp out of shape. Cramps in both legs hampered his playoff performances in 2021 and 2022. A torn ligament in his right leg and a sore left leg cost him 24 games last season. He missed more than nine games in each of his previous 11 campaigns, averaging 23 games over the past three seasons.
He accepted $14 million less when he declined a $47.4 million option last summer, giving Philadelphia room to add PJ Tucker and Daniel House Jr., but that didn’t get the Sixers any closer to a title. Harden left for the Houston Rockets in 2021 and the Brooklyn Nets in 2022, forcing him to trade years on a big contract when it became clear that neither team was going to give him a chance to win his first ring.
Harden will join a fourth team in two calendar years, marking the latest chapter in the superstar’s otherwise unique career.