Proposed Trade Sends Sixers $251 Million Star for James Harden & PJ Tucker

James Harden, PJ Tucker

Getty James Harden, PJ Tucker

The Philadelphia 76ers want a star in return for James Harden, but it remains to be seen if that’s what they’ll get in return for him. Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley proposed a trade between the Sixers and Phoenix Suns that would make every party happy.

Buckley proposed the following deal between the Sixers and Suns.

Sixers receive: Bradley Beal, 2024 Nuggets Second-Round Pick, 2028 Grizzlies Second-Round Pick, 2029 Grizzlies Second-Round Pick

Suns receive: Harden, PJ Tucker

Buckley then explained why Harden and Tucker would be appealing to the Sixers.

“Phoenix has been identified as a possible Harden suitor before, and you could make the case his playmaking ability would have more impact than Beal’s scoring since both would functionally fill third-option roles behind Durant and Kevin Booker.

“The Suns could also get Tucker in the deal, both to make the money work and to address some of their depth issues on the wing.”

The Suns traded for Beal this offseason, so it’d be hard to see them getting rid of him so soon. However, while his playmaking abilities are solid – averaging 5.4 assists a game during the 2022-23 season – he’s not at the same level as a playmaker as Harden, who led the league in assists per game, averaging 10.7 assists a game.

Beal is entering the second year of a five-year, $251 million contract.

Insider Gives Scoop on James Harden’s Contact With Clippers

According to Yahoo Sports’ Vincent Goodwill, Harden has been in touch with two of the Los Angeles Clippers‘ biggest stars.

“What I’ve heard is that, hey, James has been in conversation with Paul and Kawhi, and they’re all kind of on the same page,” Goodwill said on the August 26 episode of the “Ball Don’t Lie” podcast.

Goodwill did not clarify what the three of them are on the same page about exactly, but Harden gives the Clippers not only a third star on the team but also gives them a playmaker they haven’t had since Leonard and George joined forces in 2019.

The Sixers have still held onto Harden, so there is no prospect of how they would do if they teamed up until he is officially their teammate.

Daryl Morey Wants Better Draft Pick Compensation

On August 18, Goodwill reported that the reason why a deal has not been agreed upon by the Sixers and Clippers is because Daryl Morey wants better draft pick compensation from the Clippers for Harden, not the players they would have to offer.

“League sources told Yahoo Sports contrary to popular belief, Morey isn’t stuck on receiving Clippers guard Terance Mann back in a Harden deal but is coveting future first-round draft picks with the so-called “Seven Year Rule” in effect.

“The Clippers’ first-round picks for the next few years are owed to Oklahoma City outright or subject to a swap due to the Paul George deal in 2019, but the Clippers own their picks in 2027 and ’28,” Goodwill wrote.

Harden is 34, Leonard is 32, and George is 33. If they were to team up, they would all approach their mid-30s as a trio. As the Clippers continue to age, those picks would become more valuable as their primes continue to wind down.

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