Clippers’ top brass says James Harden will make the sacrifices necessary to contend for a title

James Harden, left, sits next to Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George as visits the locker room prior to an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023, in Los Angeles. The Philadelphia 76ers have agreed on a trade to send guard James Harden to the Clippers. (AP Photo/Joe Reedy)Los Angeles Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue shouts to his team during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Friday, Oct. 27, 2023, in Salt Lake City.

The Clippers gave up four players and a portion of their long-term draft position to add Harden and P.J. Tucker, shaking the foundation of their team just four games into the season. To Lawrence Frank and owner Steve Ballmer, the potential hazards of fielding a four-superstar lineup were far outweighed by the potential for greatness.“James Harden has an elite skill set, and all he cares about is one thing: He wants to win a championship for the LA Clippers,” Frank added.

Harden can relate: He has made the playoffs in every season of his 14-year career, but has never won a ring. The Clippers faced the Lakers on Wednesday night before getting four consecutive days off between games. Lue plans to use that fortunate schedule quirk as a mini-training camp to figure out the rotations and preferences necessary for this new core to thrive. headtopics.com

While Harden’s debut won’t happen until next week at the earliest, Tucker was available to play Wednesday night against the Lakers, Lue said. Tucker has been playing for the Sixers while Harden left and returned in

When Lue was asked what excites him most about the trade, he immediately seized on Harden’s passing and playmaking abilities, not the shooting talent that has already made him the 25th-leading scorer in NBA history. headtopics.com

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