The Philadelphia 76ers may have the chance to walk away from the James Harden drama without taking too bad a hit. With Jrue Holiday now available to acquire via trade, HoopsHype’s Yossi Gozlan proposed a trade in which the following would happen between the Sixers and Portland Trail Blazers.
Sixers receive: Holiday
Trail Blazers receive: Harden
Gozlan acknowledged that it’s likely the Trail Blazers wouldn’t want Harden since they’re starting a rebuild, which is why he floated Harden’s preferred team as someone who could get in on this deal.
“He would presumably be acquired as part of a Harden trade which could require a third team, such as his preferred destination, the Los Angeles Clippers.”
Gozlan added what other wrinkles could be added to the trade, though a straight-up swap works money-wise.
“Harden alone matches for Holiday, so the Sixers wouldn’t need to send any other players back. The big question is if they’d need to include any additional value, but they may feel that a swap involving both players is fair, considering their similar age and equally productive seasons last year.”
If the Clippers were to get involved, the Trail Blazers would likely want salary cap flexibility, i.e., expiring contracts, which the Clippers have, plus the future draft assets in their arsenal could be appealing since Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are both in their 30s.
Sixers Interested in Jrue Holiday Reunion: Report
After Jrue Holiday was traded, and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed on September 27 that it won’t be long before Holiday will be traded again, PHLY SPORTS’ Kyle Neubeck reported that the Sixers were interested in bringing Holiday back.
“The Sixers are interested in trying to acquire Jrue Holiday,” Neubeck wrote via his X account. “Will obviously be a robust market for him, but Philadelphia expected to see what it’ll take to re-route him.”
If the Sixers, Clippers, and Trail Blazers were to agree to a three-way trade that would end the James Harden drama while bringing back Holiday, the Sixers can rest easy knowing that playing the long game actually did work in their favor to some extent.
Holiday is not a superstar, but he is a dependable third option for a team that’s trying to win like the Sixers. He also would improve the Sixers’ perimeter defense quite a bit compared to Harden on that end of the floor.
Heat Not Interested in James Harden: Report
After failing to acquire Damian Lillard, the Miami Heat could make a run at Harden as a Plan B. However, according to the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson and Anthony Chiang, the Heat are not interested in making such a deal.
“The Heat is not expected to pursue Harden, who is due $35.6 million this season and is set to be an unrestricted free agent next summer,” they wrote in a September 28 story.
The Sixers have not shown much desperation to get rid of Harden, and it would take quite a package for them to agree to trade him to one of their Eastern Conference competitors.