Proposed Trade Sends Sixers Rival Joel Embiid & James Harden for $107M Scorer

James Harden, Joel Embiid

Getty James Harden, Joel Embiid

The Philadelphia 76ers don’t have to confront the nuclear option just yet, but it is a possibility. It’s difficult to see a potential James Harden trade where the Sixers don’t get worse, and if they can’t get better, Joel Embiid may be the next one to request a trade. Andy Bailey proposed a trade in which the Sixers would essentially start a new chapter.

Bailey proposed the following trade between the Sixers, Los Angeles Clippers, and New York Knicks in an October 7 story.

Sixers Receive: RJ Barrett, Evan Fournier, Marcus Morris Sr., Nicolas Batum, Robert Covington, a 2027 Knicks first-round pick, a 2028 Knicks first-round pick swap, a 2029 Knicks first-round pick, a 2029 Clippers first-round pick, and a 2030 first-round pick swap from New York

Knicks receive: Embiid and Terance Mann

Clippers receive: Harden and Isaiah Hartenstein

Bailey explained why the Sixers would take that trade.

“That’s the most important piece of this puzzle for a team that would be starting over, but this package also sends one interesting(ish) young talent to develop with Maxey in RJ Barrett. Every other player heading to Philly is either on an expiring contract or on a functionally expiring contract (Evan Fournier has a team option in 2024-25),” Bailey wrote.

A trade like this likely won’t happen unless Embiid wants out. He has not indicated that he wants a trade yet, but if he does, this is a trade the Sixers should at least consider knowing how young Barrett is and that he averaged 20 points a game during the 2021-22 season. Not to mention how much cap flexibility they would get.

Barrett will enter the first year of a five-year, $107 million contract with the Knicks.

Clippers Increasing Efforts to Acquire James Harden: Report

The Athletic’s Sam Amick and Shams Charania reported that Harden’s professionalism during training camp has stemmed from his desire to join the Clippers, who are still trying to trade for him.

“League sources say Harden also is taking part because he remains hopeful that a trade to the Clippers is still in the works and believes, for now, that it would be wise to not be a distraction. And the Clippers, league sources say, are going to great lengths to make it happen,” they wrote in an October 5 story.

They detailed the Clippers’ efforts and what the Sixers want from them.

“League sources say the Clippers have been talking to several teams about ways to move pick swaps for additional draft capital with the intention of bolstering their offer and getting a deal done.

“The Clippers offered the Sixers an unprotected first-round pick, a pick swap, and salaries for Harden in July, league sources say, but Philadelphia has set a much higher threshold. The Sixers have valued fifth-year forward Terance Mann and multiple first-round picks in a potential trade with the Clippers.”

Ime Udoka Explains Why Rockets Passed on James Harden

Coming into the summer, many expected that the Houston Rockets would chase after Harden, but a reunion was not in the cards. Rockets coach and former Sixers assistant Ime Udoka explained why the Rockets passed on him while talking with ESPN’s Zach Lowe.

“Nothing against James,” Udoka told Lowe in an October 5 story, “but Fred is just a better fit. I coached James in Brooklyn. He’s one of the smartest players I’ve ever been around. The words ‘Ime doesn’t want James’ never came out of my mouth. It was, ‘Let’s look at the best fit.’ If we want Jalen and the young guys to take the next steps, we need them to have the ball. As for me saying I don’t want James, that was never the case. It was about fit.”

This may or may not have factored into why Harden and the Sixers had a bit of offseason drama. At the very least, the Sixers can take some solace in knowing they didn’t lose Harden for nothing. But it’s not like they have the best trade offers available.