James Harden trade to Clippers

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The Los Angeles Clippers have acquired James Harden from the Philadelphia 76ers in a blockbuster trade. The details of the trade, as revealed by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, are as follows: The Sixers are acquiring Marcus Morris, Nic Batum, Robert Covington, KJ Martin, multiple draft picks, and a pick swap for James Harden, PJ Tucker, and Filip Petrusev. The Clippers are sending the Sixers a 2028 unprotected first-round pick, two second-round picks, and a pick swap. The Clippers are also routing the 76ers an additional future first-round pick from a third team. The 76ers are waiving veteran guard Danny Green to complete the trade with the Clippers. James Harden, a 10-time All-Star guard, has once again leveraged his way into a trade. The Clippers are now loaded on paper, with Harden joining Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Russell Westbrook in L.A. The trade was a result of several factors. Firstly, the Sixers had no other choice but to accept the best deal the Los Angeles Clippers had on the table for James Harden. The return suggests there was no other market for the three-time scoring champ. His contract situation is likely what swayed other teams from trying to trade for Harden. Secondly, the James Harden drama was becoming a distraction and a dark cloud that hovered over the franchise to begin the season. Lastly, the emergence of Tyrese Maxey, who has proven so far that he can be the lead ball handler and playmaker on a contender, made the James Harden trade more feasible. This is Harden’s third time being traded since 2020. The 10-time All-Star and former MVP demanded a trade on June 29, two days before the start of free agency. Harden, who had a one-year player option remaining on his contract, was annoyed with the Sixers’ lack of communication in the lead-up to free agency. When no such an offer came, he picked up the $35.6 option in his contract and informed the Sixers that he wanted to be traded. The Los Angeles Clippers, he told them, were his preferred destination. The deal brings an end to Harden’s longterm partnership with Daryl Morey, the current Sixers president of basketball operations. Morey traded for Harden twice — first back in 2012, when he was running the Houston Rockets, and then again in February 2021, when he pried Harden away from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for a package centered around Ben Simmons. The trade is seen as a win for Harden as he gets to go home to Los Angeles and play for a team he believes will pay him as a free agent next summer. With Leonard, George, and Harden, and Russell Westbrook the Clippers are a legit playoff threat to any team in the West — if that big three is healthy.
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