HARDEN HEADS TO HOLLYWOOD!
In a three-team trade, the Los Angeles Clippers acquired guard James Harden, forward P.J Tucker, and forward Filip Petrusev from the Philadelphia 76ers; Philadelphia acquired forwards Robert Covington, Nic Batum, Kenyon Martin Jr., Marcus Morris Sr., a unprotected first-round draft pick in 2028, a second-round draft pick in 2024, a second-round draft pick in 2029, and the right to swap first-round draft picks in 2029 from the Clippers, and a protected first-round draft pick in 2026 from the Oklahoma City Thunder; and Oklahoma City acquired the rights to swap first-round picks in 2027 from the Clippers.
What does it give the Los Angeles Clippers
Harden gets his wish! After feuding with 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey the Southern Calfornia native is heading home to play for the Clippers. He will form a new big 3 alongside Paul George and Kawhi Leonard making the Clippers one of the strongest teams in the Western Conference on paper. The big if's however still remain. How will the new look Clipper's mesh? Are they deep enough to win with their top players injury history? And will they reach their potential before one of their stars demands a trade elsewhere? All of this boom or bust potential makes the Clippers a must follow this season.
What does it give the Philadelphia 76ers
This trade has the potential to be an addition by subtraction situation in Philadelphia. Harden hadn't even been playing to open the season while waiting on a trade. The players acquired should add some shooting and defensive versatility around Embiid keeping the team competitive in the near term. Long term expect the 76ers to use the picks acquired in this deal to try and land another star player on the trade market. If that doesn't become available during the season the players coming to Philly in this deal are on expiring contracts allowing them to have $50-$65 million dollars to find a star player in free agency.
What does it give the Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma City joins this trade to help guarantee the 76ers a first-round draft pick in a earlier draft. With it being protected there is little risk here for the Thunder. Gaining a first-round pick swap from the Clippers in 2027 foreshadows that the Thunder believe they have the potential to be better than LA come that season, giving them a better chance at a higher draft pick.
Immediately Harden's fantasy value gets a boost just because he is going to start playing games. However, there is only one ball and it will be interesting to see how the Clippers share it. One of Leonard, George or Harden are likely to see a dip in points from their career averages. Monitor closely to see which one. Having all of them also increases the chances of all three getting more rest nights which will limit their fantasy impact. In Philadelphia Embiid and Maxey will now become even bigger focal points in coach Nurse's offence which should boost each player's value until a new star is added to the team.
protected first-round draft pick - Round 1 in 2026
unprotected first-round draft pick - Round 1 in 2028
Draft pick - Round 2 in 2024
Draft pick - Round 2 in 2029
right to swap first-round draft picks - Round 1 in 2029
Oklahoma City Thunder
right to swap first-round draft picks - Round 1 in 2027