Should the Philadelphia 76ers trade James Harden to the Los Angeles Clippers, he may not be the only Sixer who gets sent out in the deal. HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto revealed who else has been discussed in a possible Clippers-Sixers trade.
“PJ Tucker, Harden’s longtime teammate with the Rockets and Sixers, has come up in trade discussions between the 76ers and Clippers, league sources told HoopsHype,” Scotto wrote. “The Clippers covet Tucker’s ability to guard multiple positions and defend the league’s top opposing scorers. Tucker is owed $11 million this upcoming year and has a $11.54 million player option for the 2024-25 season.”
Trading away Tucker alongside Harden could help the Sixers have even more cap flexibility, especially if they manage to get mostly expiring contracts in exchange for him and Harden. It could work for both sides seeing how the Clippers’ expiring contracts are wings – Marcus Morris Sr., Nicolas Batum, Robert Covington – and Tucker could fill some of that void.
James Harden Situation Could Get More Complicated
“Harden has now requested a trade from the Sixers, and in the event that Harden is not traded and then refuses to report to camp, different rules would apply to him because he is in the final year of his contract, league sources told ESPN,” Lowe wrote.
Lowe then explained more about the specific clause in the NBA that directly affects Harden in the wake of a potential holdout.
“A separate clause in the CBA — which existed in prior versions of the agreement — holds that any player who ‘withholds playing services for more than 30 days after the start of the last season covered by his contract’ could be deemed to have violated his contract and prohibited from entering free agency or signing with ‘any other professional basketball team unless and until the team with which the player last played expressly agrees otherwise.’
“The rule allows incumbent teams to block any player deemed in violation from entering free agency and signing elsewhere — including with professional teams outside the NBA, league sources confirmed to ESPN.”
James Harden’s Cryptic Instagram Message
It appears Harden knows what lies ahead with him and the Sixers from here on out. Both sides have remained firm in their desire. Harden wants to leave, and the Sixers want to get good value out of him.
With the Sixers not budging at all in trade discussions, Harden posted a rather cryptic message on his personal Instagram story on July 20, saying, “Been comfortable for so long. It’s time to get uncomfortable.”
Harden has made trade requests in recent years from his previous teams, the Houston Rockets and Brooklyn Nets, so he knows how this process works. He also knows that Daryl Morey always goes for the best deal possible regarding trades. It could be a while before Harden is traded, but in that time, Harden could apply more and more pressure to get the trade done as more time passes.