Despite the drama surrounding James Harden, the Philadelphia 76ers are in control of him and his contract until they trade him. But if they did want to end the drama by unloading Harden, they could trade him to his previous team, the Brooklyn Nets, according to Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley.
Here is what Buckley proposed in a September 13 story about “one new trade idea” for each team before the season starts:
Sixers receive: Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, Cam Thomas, 2025 Suns first-round pick
Nets receive: Harden
“If Philadelphia wants to end the Harden drama, this could be one way to do it,” Buckley wrote. “While no stars would come back to the Sixers, they would add two solid starters in Dinwiddie and Finney-Smith, plus two long-term assets in Thomas and the future first-rounder. Then they could either try chasing a title behind the Embiid-Tyrese Maxey duo or pool the rest of their resources into getting Embiid a more established co-star.”
It’d be hard to see Harden accepting another trade to the Nets, unless he is truly that desperate to get off the Sixers . Dinwiddie is entering the final year of a three-year, $54 million contract.
Zach Lowe Explains Possible Sixers-Clippers Trade
The Sixers have failed to come to an agreement with Harden’s preferred choice, the Los Angeles Clippers. However, ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported on the September 5 episode of “The Lowe Post” what it would take for the Sixers to agree to a trade.
“If the Clippers were to put both (of their tradable) first-round picks in, even without (Terance Mann), I think there’s a two-team deal that exists that the Sixers would do,” Lowe said.
Lowe added that the Sixers are counting on Harden softening his stance enough to the point where he’ll show up to training camp and increase his trade value.
“I don’t think the two teams have been anywhere close to any of that kind of deal, which is why I think the only play I see for the Sixers here is bring him to camp, hope … he plays pretty well, and [that] the Clippers and some other teams with high expectations sputter over their first 20 games and get desperate.”
Both the Sixers and Clippers are using the clock to try to gain leverage on the other in a Harden trade. The question will be whose desperation will exceed the other’s – the Sixers’ desperation to get rid of Harden or the Clippers’ desperation to stay a contender with their window closing?
Adam Silver Speaks Out on James Harden Trade Request
On September 13, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver gave his thoughts on both Harden’s and Damian Lillard’s trade requests during a press conference. Silver condemned them but said he was glad that some of the noise has died down.
“In terms of trade demands, of course, don’t like them,” Silver said. “As a league, we want players and teams to honor their contracts. I’m watching both the situation in Portland and Philadelphia, and hope they get worked out to the satisfaction of everyone before the season starts. I’m glad that things seem to have settled down somewhat, at least in terms of public discourse.”
Considering the last time a Sixers star trade demand lasted from training camp to the trade deadline, it’s more likely than not that the Harden drama will continue even when the season starts.