Adrian WojnarowskiSenior NBA Insider3 Minute Read
According to sources, the LA Clippers made a major trade on Monday night, acquiring 10-time All-Star guard James Harden from the Philadelphia 76ers. This blockbuster trade sent shockwaves through the NBA.
The 76ers sent Harden, along with P.J. Tucker and Filip Petrusev, to the Clippers in exchange for Marcus Morris, Robert Covington, Nic Batum, KJ Martin, a 2028 unprotected first-round pick, two second-round picks, a 2029 pick swap, and an additional first-round pick that will come from a third team.
The details of the trade are still being finalized between the Clippers and the third team involved.
To make room for the trade, the Sixers decided to waive veteran guard Danny Green.
This trade brings Harden to the Clippers, where he will join forces with All-Star forwards Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, as well as guard Russell Westbrook. Westbrook and Harden have previously played together on the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets. The Clippers and Sixers have been in talks about a potential Harden trade since July, and now they have finally reached an agreement.
The discussions between the Clippers and 76ers intensified over the weekend as it became clear that incorporating Harden back into the Sixers’ lineup was no longer feasible.
For the Sixers, getting two first-round picks out of this trade was a priority. They believe that, along with the second-round picks and pick swap, these assets give them the opportunity to pursue another high-level guard to pair with MVP Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey this season. On the other hand, the Clippers were able to hold onto guard Terance Mann, who has been dealing with a sprained ankle.
Harden is reportedly “ecstatic” about joining the Clippers and hopes to travel to Los Angeles as soon as possible. There is even a chance that he could attend the Clippers’ home game against the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night.
The 34-year-old Harden had requested a trade out of Philadelphia back in June, and tensions between him and the 76ers’ president of basketball operations, Daryl Morey, have been high ever since. Although he hadn’t played for Philadelphia this season, Harden had been present on the bench during games. However, he made it clear that his relationship with the team was irreparable.
In addition to his desire to be traded to the Clippers, Harden’s Southern California roots played a role in this deal. He grew up in the area and expressed a desire to play for a team closer to home. He now joins Leonard and George, who also decided to team up on the Clippers in 2019.
Harden has had an impressive career, winning three scoring titles and the 2018 league MVP award. He led the league in assists last season. With Harden, Westbrook, George, and Leonard, the Clippers now have a formidable lineup capable of challenging for their first NBA championship.
The Clippers, currently with a record of 2-1, have a back-to-back set of games against the Magic and the Lakers in Los Angeles this week. Coach Tyronn Lue will have four days off after the back-to-back to incorporate Harden and Tucker into the team before a three-game road trip, starting with a game against the Knicks in New York.
During that road trip, Harden may have the opportunity to face his former team, the Nets, in Brooklyn before the Clippers finish the swing against the Mavericks in Dallas.
ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk contributed to this report.
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