Former Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers believes he knows when everything would go wrong between his former team and James Harden. During his appearance on ESPN, Rivers revealed the moment when he thought things would tailspin between Harden and the Sixers.
“Once you saw James opt in, you knew there was trouble in paradise. You just knew that. I believe he believed that he was going to get taken care of at some point. He didn’t, and he’s upset by it. Then the Sixers, on the other hand, are thinking more team-wise and future-wise and what they want to do, so it’s a tough situation. I would be surprised if it’s resolved unless there is a trade,” Rivers said on ESPN’s NBA Today on October 11.
Despite the issues going on between Harden and the Sixers, there have been no reports of any drama from Harden’s end since training camp started, but that could certainly change if his efforts in being a good soldier don’t lead to him being traded.
Clippers ‘Know What They Need to Do’ to Get James Harden
On October 9, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne revealed that the Los Angeles Clippers, Harden’s preferred team, know what they have to do to get Harden. The real question will be whether they can assemble a trade package to appease the Sixers without giving up too much.
“From what I’ve been told, the Clippers know what they need to do to get James Harden. It’s just a question of whether they want to go all the way there. As Adrian Wojnarowski was explaining, can they get more creative with some of the assets that they already have so that they’re not bidding against themselves?” Shelburne said on NBA Today. “They’re really bidding against the Sixers’ willingness to take any kind of compromise. James Harden can change things in an instant with whatever he wants to say when he finally starts talking.”
The Clippers must also ask themselves if they will let this drag on throughout the regular season. The less time Harden plays for them, the harder it may be for him to fit into their schemes. The Sixers may not have much leverage, but they know the Clippers want to get over the hump and believe Harden will help them do it.
Paul Reed Takes Cryptic Shot at Doc Rivers
While talking with reporters on October 11, Paul Reed seemingly took a shot at Rivers while talking about how he’s been encouraged to try his hand at spacing the floor. He believes that doing so last season would have led to much less playing time.
“Last season, if I was taking 3s, I probably wouldn’t have played for like 10 games. This year, they want me to shoot the ball more. I’m still making the adjustment and realizing where my shots are gonna come from within the offense,” Reed said, per PHLY SPORTS’ Derek Bodner.
Reed didn’t name Rivers directly, but it seemed apparent that Reed felt restricted by Rivers during his coaching regime with the Sixers. Reed isn’t exactly a proven floor-spacer, but under Nick Nurse, perhaps that can change.