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Sixers trade disgruntled James Harden to Clippers after drama-filled off-season


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Sixers trade disgruntled James Harden to Clippers after drama-filled off-season

Oct 29, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden looks on during a timeout in the second quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

NBA star guard James Harden successfully forces his way out of his third team in a row after the Philadelphia 76ers strike a big deal to ship him to the Los Angeles Clippers

After months of acrimony, James Harden finally got the move he requested, as the Philadelphia 76ers dealt him to the Los Angeles Clippers, multiple outlets reported late Monday night (Tuesday, October 31, Manila time).

In terms of players involved, Philadelphia receives Nicolas Batum, Marcus Morris Sr., Robert Covington and Kenyon Martin Jr., per the reports. According to ESPN, Los Angeles gets P.J. Tucker and Filip Petrusev along with Harden.

Additionally, ESPN reported that the 76ers get an unprotected 2028 first-round pick, a pair of second-round picks and a pick swap. The Clippers will also give the 76ers a future first-round pick from a third team.

The 76ers also will waive guard Danny Green to make salary-cap room for the new players coming in, according to ESPN.

The disgruntled Harden had sat out the 76ers’ first three games of the season amid his feud with Philadelphia general manager Daryl Morey.

During the summer, Harden called Morey a liar and stated that their differences could not be resolved. Despite the rhetoric, Harden picked up his $35.6 million option for the current season rather than enter free agency.

The Clippers and 76ers are both off to 2-1 starts.

Harden, 34, led the NBA in assists last season at 10.7 per game while contributing 21 points and 6.1 rebounds per contest for the 76ers. The three-time league scoring champion is a 10-time All-Star, and he was the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in the 2017-18 season.

The major hole in his resume is the lack of an NBA championship. Harden also is the subject of lots of criticism for forcing his way out of teams — three times now, with the 76ers joining a list that already included the Houston Rockets and the Brooklyn Nets.

He began his NBA career with the Oklahoma City Thunder after they selected him with the third overall pick in the 2009 draft out of Arizona State.

The deal to Los Angeles will represent a homecoming for Harden, who went to Artesia High School in Lakewood, California, near the Clippers’ home venue in Inglewood.

Batum, 34, is averaging 2.7 points and 2.3 rebounds this season, down from his norms of 10.7 and 5.0, respectively.

Covington, 32, is putting up 3.0 points and 2.7 rebounds. His career averages are 11.1 and 5.6, respectively.

Martin, 22, was acquired by the Clippers from the Rockets in July as part of a five-team trade. He managed just 5.0 points and 1.5 rebounds in two games off the bench for Los Angeles after posting career highs of 12.7 and 5.5, respectively, last season.

Morris, 34, has yet to play for the Clippers this season. His averages 12.3 points and 4.5 rebounds for his career.

Tucker, 38, has logged 2.0 points and 4.7 boards through three starts for Philadelphia this season. He has career marks of 6.8 points and 5.5 rebounds. He is also a career 36.6-percent shooter from 3-point range.

Petrusev, 23, is in his first NBA season after the 76ers drafted him in the second round in 2021. He appeared in just one game for Philadelphia, playing three scoreless minutes. –

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