US basketball

Trade complete: OKC gets first-round swap as Harden heads to Clippers


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Trade complete: OKC gets first-round swap as Harden heads to Clippers

ON THE MOVE. Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden looks on during a timeout in the second quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

James Harden has been criticized for forcing his way out of teams – three times now, with the Philadelphia 76ers joining the list

The three-team trade sending James Harden to the Los Angeles Clippers became official Wednesday, November 1, with Oklahoma City announced as the third team involved in the seven-player deal.

The official terms:

The Clippers acquired Harden, PJ Tucker, and Filip Petrusev from the Philadelphia 76ers.

The 76ers acquired Nicolas Batum, Marcus Morris, Robert Covington, and Kenyon Martin Jr. from the Clippers. They also received an unprotected 2028 first-round pick, a 2026 first-round pick from Oklahoma City, a pair of second-round picks and a first-round protected pick swap with the Clippers in 2029. The Sixers also received cash considerations.

The Thunder acquired the rights to a 2027 unprotected first-round pick swap and cash considerations from the Clippers in exchange for the least favorable of Oklahoma City’s 2026 first-round draft picks to the 76ers.

But the centerpiece is Harden, who sat out the 76ers’ first three games of the season amid his feud with Philadelphia general manager Daryl Morey.

Harden did not make a secret of his desire to join the Clippers to partner with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George as well as his former teammate, Russell Westbrook.

“James is one of the most prolific and efficient playmakers in the NBA,” Clippers president of operations Lawrence Frank said. 

“With his size and vision, he possesses an extraordinary ability to create for himself and others. The Los Angeles area has produced so many elite players in recent years. With Kawhi, Paul, Russ and James, we’re excited to bring four of them together, and eager to see what they can accomplish with the rest of our group.”

Harden, 34, led the NBA in assists last season at 10.7 per game while averaging 21 points and 6.1 rebounds for the 76ers. The three-time scoring champion is a 10-time All-Star and was the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2017-2018.

The major hole in his resume is the lack of an NBA championship. Harden has also been criticized 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, about 21 miles away from 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 LA 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% shooter from three-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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