The James Harden situation is complicated. There are a lot of things going with Harden, the Sixers and where both sides might go now and down the line.
For @spotrac I broke down how we got here, where things are at, what it all means and what’s next:
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) August 23, 2023
“James Harden has been in conversation with Paul George and Kawhi, and they’re all kind of on the same page.”
The best result they’ve gotten since 2019 is an appearance in the Western Conference Finals in 2021. During that span, George has played in a total of 189 of a possible 308 games, and his superstar teammate has been even more absent. Leonard has played in just 161 of those contests, missing the entire 2021-22 season with an ACL surgery.
As for the oddsmakers, they are about as high on the Clippers as can be. When it comes to which team will land James Harden if he leaves Philadelphia, Los Angeles is the overwhelming favorite at -250. The Chicago Bulls are actually the second team listed on the board, coming in with a +600 designation. The Rockets are +700.
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And now they are apparently courting James Harden. As reported by Vince Goodwill, an NBA writer for Yahoo! Sports, Harden has been in talks with George and Leonard, and says that the trio is “on the same page” as far as wanting to play together for the Clippers.
Clippers, Bulls, And Rockets Are The Top-3
There have been talks about the Clippers potentially blowing it up. It has become apparent that the experiment has been mostly a failure, and trading one of their star players now at top value could be a smart move in recouping some of the future. But it seems as though Los Angeles is going to ride it out.
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) August 27, 2023
It was once rumored that the Houston Rockets would make an attempt at a reunion, one that both sides were reportedly open to. But Houston went ahead with other free agency plans, and it doesn’t appear as though Harden is on their radar anymore.
The Los Angeles Clippers have failed to live up to expectations in recent years. They mortgaged a solid portion of their future in 2019 when they traded away loads of draft picks in order to acquire Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, and the results have been far from what they’d hoped. But they’ll look to improve in 2023-24, and could have their sights set on trading for James Harden.
James Harden In Talks With Clippers Stars
Harden has been in the news plenty recently. He is on his third trade request in four years, and his reputation around the NBA has soured. He made things worse a couple of weeks ago by calling out 76ers GM Daryl Morey, for which he was fined a hefty $100,000.