James Harden is still holding out for a trade to the Los Angeles Clippers but is that realistic?
With his future still in limbo, it appears the want-away 76ers star remains hopeful of a trade to the LA Clippers. Is there reason to think it’s a possible?
It’s been a minute since we had any updates on the situation surrounding James Harden and the last time we did, it was our report which confirmed that the Los Angeles Clippers had ended negotiations with Harden’s team, the Philadelphia 76ers. From then till now, it’s just been drama involving Harden and Sixers president, Daryl Morey. So, what gives?
James Harden still hoping for Clippers trade
It sounds strange but it’s true. According to a report from Yahoo Sports, the former MVP (2018) is still very much holding out for a move to the Los Angeles Clippers, and what’s more, the report cites sources. Here’s what was said:
“...the ongoing dynamic in Philadelphia, where James Harden still hopes to be moved to the LA Clippers, sources said...
Philadelphia staffers, meanwhile, can still talk themselves into the idea of Harden reporting to camp, playing for a title hopeful and, therefore, playing his way into the trade value the Sixers require to relinquish the All-Star. How realistic is that? Well, Harden has already claimed that he’ll never be part of an organization that Philadelphia president Daryl Morey is a part of. There are more fireworks coming with the Sixers, whether at their Camden, New Jersey, practice facility or when the team briefly relocates to Colorado Springs, Colorado, for training camp.”
OK, but why is James Harden set on the Clippers?
While there are other factors in play which we will get to, one that is abundantly clear is the question of money. Indeed, it seems to be that Harden believes the Clippers are one of the few teams that are willing to pay him the huge salary that he’d like to pocket next summer. Aside from contractual elements, there is also the roster which it is understood Harden thinks he can win with. Last but not least, there is the city itself. Los Angeles, unlike Philadelphia, is a warm city and by extension regarded as friendlier.
So, what’s happened between the Sixers and Clippers?
As you can imagine, this isn’t just about Harden. Both the 76ers and Clippers must also be considered. Where Steve Ballmer’s team is concerned, we already know that it’s going with veteran stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, who are assumedly what the franchise believes can make them contenders. As for the 76ers, Morey is reportedly on the hunt for multiple first-round picks, as well as a player who can help them remain a contender and does not want to take on long-term salary. If we’re honest, either one of those requests was always going to have trouble being met.
Understandably, the Clippers have no reason to increase their offer. As per previous reports, their offer consisted of a few veteran matching salaries in the form of Robert Covington and Marcus Morris, in addition to a clutch of picks, and truthfully that makes sense when one considers the idea that there are no other teams seemingly interested in the 34-year-old. Add to that the fact that the former Rockets and Nets star left both of those teams in a forceful manner, and is known to be looking for a big payday, and it all starts to look a bit implausible.
What does the future look like for James Harden?
While there is nothing carved in stone, it’s beginning to look increasingly like Harden will be back at camp when it begins on October 3rd. If that proves to be the case, then we have to assume that a few things will have to happen before. Firstly, the divide that exists between Harden and Morey will have to be addressed, with some kind of public statement indicating such. There will have to be some kind of re-examination of the 10-time NBA All-Star’s contract. Do recall that at the center of this whole issue is a feeling of betrayal on Harden’s part i.e., after taking a voluntary pay cut to help the team, Harden was clearly banking on being rewarded with a lucrative extension. When that didn’t happen the feud ensued. Again, we’re not sure how this all ends, but rest assured it’s going to be interesting to see it unfold.