Sixers Put on Notice About Potential ‘Disastrous’ James Harden Fallout

James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers

Getty Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers talks to James Harden #1 with a cardboard cutout of Tyrese Maxey #0 seen in the background.

The Philadelphia 76ers shocked the basketball world at the February trade deadline when they pulled off a mega-deal to acquire James Harden. After a months-long saga with disgruntled All-Star Ben Simmons, Daryl Morey had finally landed a legitimate second option to pair alongside MVP frontrunner Joel Embiid.

Throughout his career, Morey built a reputation for swinging big deals. Reuniting with Harden was the latest addition on a long list of blockbuster trades the longtime executive has been part of. This trade was a huge gamble for Philly. In more ways than one.

For starters, the Sixers sacrificed two key depth pieces to pull off the trade. Seth Curry’s game took a big leap during his time in Philly, and Andre Drummond proved to be a more than suitable backup behind Embiid. Since the trade went down, inconsistent production from the supporting cast has been a glaring issue for the Sixers.

The other big storyline in this deal is Harden’s impending free agency this offseason. If he decides to decline his player option, the former MVP will be able to test the market. While the Sixers can offer him a five-year contract, that is a big investment for a player on the wrong side of 30.

Given all the factors at play, some feel this situation could be ‘disastrous’ for the Sixers depending on how the playoffs unfold.

“And given everything the Sixers gave up to get him (Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, Ben Simmons and two first round picks), losing Harden for nothing in free agency would be disastrous.” According to Bleacher Report.

Daryl Morey Made the Right Move

No matter how things play out in the coming weeks, Daryl Morey and the Sixers made the right move to trade for Harden. He waited patiently for a high-caliber player to become available and was rewarded handsomely.

At the end of the day, star talent is essential to being a contender in the NBA. While Curry and Drummond are quality pieces, they are just role players. Adding another All-Star next to Embiid gives the Sixers much better odds to win a title than holding on to them.

To land something great, sometimes you have to give up something good. Moving on from Curry and Drummond was tough, but any team would do that deal ten times out of ten.

Sixers Banking On Harden Aging Gracefully

One thing that separates good players from great players is how their game ages following their prime. In the cases of LeBron James and Chris Paul, they have found ways to still perform at a high level in their late thirties. This is something the Sixers are sure to be monitoring as they prepare to offer Harden a long-term deal.

At this point in his career, Harden is not going to be the prolific scorer he was in his Houston days. That being said, we have seen how he intends to adapt his game moving forward. Since arriving in Brooklyn last season, Harden embraced being a facilitator, and has remained near the top of the league in terms of assists.

Playing next to a dominant force like Embiid, Harden does not have to burden as much of the scoring load. His primary objectives are being the Sixers’ maestro on offense and taking over games in short stretches, primarily when Embiid is off the floor.

The Sixers traded for Harden not only to compete this season but for years moving forward. With Embiid playing like a top-three player and Tyrese Maxey developing rapidly, Harden should be able to easily transition into the next phase of his career if he stays in Philadelphia.

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