The Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers have stopped discussing a trade involving James Harden. However, though both sides have cut off communication for the time being, ESPN’s Zach Lowe believes this saga is far from over.
On the September 19 episode of “NBA Today,” after Adrian Wojnarowski said that trade talks were currently dead between the two sides, Lowe relayed that he believes that they will start up talks again. However, he did not specify any date.
“I don’t think we’ve seen the last of those talks. I have a feeling those talks will be reignited at some point,” Lowe said.
The Clippers are counting on the Sixers to not let this Harden drama drag on throughout the season because of how much it could damage the team’s performance. The Sixers are counting on the Clippers getting more desperate with their window closing. While the Sixers will lose all their leverage once Harden’s contract runs out, the Clippers will only continue to lose much of their leverage as Kawhi Leonard and Paul George age.
Nick Nurse Wants to Play Joel Embiid More Minutes
In an interview with Sixers Wire’s Ky Carlin, new Sixers head coach Nick Nurse said that he plans to give Embiid a heavier minutes load, though he knows that doing so will come with risks.
“We’re trying to get him to play more games,” Nurse said in a September 18 interview. “Our goal is that it’s going up for him, not not the other direction, and some people would say, ‘Oh, that’s playoffs. Is he going to be?’ We’re just trying to get it going the other direction. I think that’s just what our people believe here that he can play and, again, knock on wood, cross our fingers, all that stuff. There’s always things that can come up with that stuff, but I don’t know. I believe in the guys playing as much as they can, and let’s see what happens.”
Though Embiid has proven himself to be sturdy enough to withstand an 82-game regular season, he has also proven that he is not physically capable of withstanding a long playoff run. Nurse’s philosophy at first sounds like a plan that’s doomed to fail, but perhaps he believes that more playing time for Embiid could toughen him up in the postseason.
Sixers Advised to Trade Tyrese Maxey for Damian Lillard
Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley explained in a September 12 story that, with a potential Embiid trade request looming, the Sixers should look into trading Tyrese Maxey to the Portland Trail Blazers.
“If the Sixers aren’t fully committed to building a championship roster around (Embiid), then maybe he won’t be fully committed to them moving forward,” Buckley wrote. “That’s why Philly should try emptying its asset stash—yes, even if that means losing Tyrese Maxey—for the chance to win the Damian Lillard sweepstakes. With his pick-and-roll prowess and proven ability to perform in the playoffs, he should be an even better fit with Embiid than James Harden has been.”
Perhaps the reason why the Sixers haven’t entertained this notion is because they know Embiid does not have any intentions of wanting out. There’s no need to do anything drastic if the league’s MVP plans to stay put. If Embiid let the Sixers know that he’s changed his mind, then this is something the Sixers have to consider.