At this stage of Harden’s career, there is no separating the good parts from the bad. As such, Tuesday’s blockbuster deal, which will see Harden join Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Russell Westbrook in Los Angeles for a draft-pick-laden package that sent Nicolas Batum, Robert Covington and Marcus Morris to Philadelphia, stirred a range of emotions: relief and regret for exhausted 76ers observers, plus everything from cautious optimism to dread among Clippers followers.
Indeed, Harden’s third trade in three years should be cause for existential pondering: Does anyone truly win when he changes teams? Or, will all this sound and fury signify nothing yet again? With that, let’s dive into the winners and losers.Harden’s hierarchy of needs was oriented around a desire for a major long-term contract. When that didn’t come from the 76ers, he wanted to get as far away from 76ers President Daryl Morey, his longtime partner in hoops, as quickly as possible.
Harden was forced to pick up his player option this summer because of a lack of interest from potential free agent suitors, who generally lacked the cap space to sign him. By making things ugly in Philadelphia and landing on an aspiring contender with an owner who is willing to spend whatever it takes to win, he has positioned himself about as well as he can for his next payday. headtopics.com
Leonard and George don’t need to pay Harden or worry yet that he might bounce next summer, because those weights fall to ownership and management. Indeed, this trade works for them on both optimistic and cynical levels: While Harden should boost the Clippers’ title chances, his arrival also gives them another scapegoat if things go wrong again in the postseason.This marks the third time Harden and Westbrook have teamed up after previous stints together in Oklahoma City and Houston.
Harden’s arrival will almost certainly marginalize Westbrook’s role in terms of shots and touches. While there’s room to start them together, the Clippers will need to reassess their best closing lineups. After a disastrous stint with the Los Angeles Lakers, Westbrook had found a pretty comfortable home with the Clippers. Now, Harden is crashing on his couch and raiding his refrigerator. headtopics.com
76ers Agree to Trade James Harden to Clippers, per ReportMonths of negotiations have led to the two sides reportedly agreeing to terms on a deal to send James Harden to Los Angeles. Read more ⮕
Report: James Harden ‘Ecstatic’ Over Clippers Trade, Details Timeline to Join TeamThe star guard plans to get to Los Angeles as quickly as possible. Read more ⮕