76ers trade James Harden to Clippers

The Philadelphia 76ers have acquired Nicolas Batum, Robert Covington, Kenyon Martin Jr., and Marcus Morris Sr., as part of a seven-player, three-team deal with the LA Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder that sent James Harden to LA.

The 76ers sent Harden, Filip Petrušev, and P.J. Tucker to the Clippers to complete the deal.

The 76ers obtained two first-round draft picks – an unprotected 2028 first-round selection from the Clippers, and a 2026 first-round pick from Oklahoma City (the least favorable 2026 first-round pick among (i) Houston (if not in Top 4 picks), (ii) LA Clippers, and (iii) Oklahoma City) – in addition to the right to swap 2029 first-round picks with LA (protected 1-3), two second-round picks from LA, and cash considerations.

As part of the transaction, Philadelphia will receive the more favorable of (i) Toronto’s 2024 second-round pick and (ii) the more favorable of (a) Indiana’s 2024 second-round pick and (b) the less favorable of (1) Utah’s 2024 second-round pick and (2) Cleveland’s 2024 second-round pick. The 76ers will also acquire LA’s 2029 second-round pick.

“James is one of the most prolific and efficient playmakers in the NBA,” said Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank. “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 is a three-time NBA scoring champion (2018, 2019, 2020) and NBA MVP (2018) who has played in 1,000 career games and holds averages of 24.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 1.5 steals. In his 15th NBA season, Harden is one of four players in league history to have averaged at least 20 points, five rebounds and 10 assists in three or more seasons. The only other players to do so more than once are Russell Westbrook (5) and Hall of Famers Oscar Robertson (5) and Magic Johnson (3). With the trade, LAC becomes the Los Angeles native’s fifth NBA team, following stints in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Houston and Oklahoma City.

Sixers will reportedly trade James Harden to Clippers

Per the LA Times:

As teams with NBA title ambitions in Milwaukee and Boston fortified their rosters in recent weeks and days, the Clippers arrived at training camp with a roster virtually unchanged from the end of last season.

That began to change late Monday, when after months of discussions with Philadelphia, the Clippers and 76ers began to move toward finalizing a trade that would see All-Star guard James Harden land in Los Angeles, according to people with knowledge of the discussions not authorized to disclose them publicly.

In addition to Harden, the Clippers are receiving P.J. Tucker, a 38-year-old defensive stalwart forward and career 36% three-point shooter. The cost: Trading away Nicolas Batum, Marcus Morris Sr. and Robert Covington — their trio of veteran forwards, all on expiring contracts — as well as young forward Kenyon Martin Jr., who was acquired from Houston during the offseason.


The latest on James Harden and the Sixers

Per the Philadelphia Inquirer:

One can only hope the James Harden saga gets resolved quickly.

The point guard is either going to come back and play for the 76ers or hurry up and get moved to another NBA team.

He is practicing with the Sixers and performing his normal post-practice shooting routine. He’s “ramping up” with the hope of being available to play in the Oct. 20 preseason finale against the Hawks at the Wells Fargo Center. But skeptics wonder if Harden is only doing this because he expects to be traded.

So what’s going to happen if the Clippers, who are interested, backs out of negotiations? What will Harden do then? Will he become a distraction and make things uncomfortable for the Sixers?


The latest on a rumor involving James Harden and the Rockets

Via the Houston Chronicle:

Former Houston Rockets star and current 76ers guard James Harden wasn’t exactly in the Christmas spirit as he addressed reporters Sunday after a 119-112 win over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Philadelphia’s victory was in-part overshadowed by a pregame report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that detailed Harden’s interest in a potential return to Houston in 2023. Harden was dismissive of Wojnarowski’s report when speaking with the media postgame, noting he is “excited” to be in Philadelphia.

“I’m here, we’re playing very well, I don’t know where the report came from,” Harden said. “But I’m very excited to be here. We are playing well, and we’re continuing to get better.”

James Harden speaks on time with Nets

Via the New York Post:

James Harden’s time with the Nets was brief, complicated and ultimately a flop.

But the organization was as much to blame as anyone, according to Harden.

“I don’t mean to, like, just down talk to anybody or whatever. It was just, there was no structure and even superstars, they need structure,” Harden said in an interview with Fox Sports in an interview that took place five days before the Nets fired Steve Nash and was published Friday. “That’s what allows us to be the best players and leaders for our respective organizations.

“I just feel like internally, things weren’t what I expected when I was trying to get traded there. I think everybody knows that. And I knew people were going to talk and say, ‘You quit’ and all that stuff, but then the following summer, the other superstar there [Kevin Durant] wanted to leave. So it’s like: Am I still the quitter?”


Sixers re-sign James Harden

Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey announced today that the team has re-signed 10-time All-Star and 13-year NBA veteran James Harden.

“Today, I’m celebrating alongside Sixers fans everywhere as we announce that James Harden – former MVP, 10-time All-Star and three-time scoring champion – has re-signed with the team,” Managing Partner Josh Harris said. “James stands out as an elite playmaker and feared scorer, and his commitment to the team reflects his dedication to bring a championship to this city. We recognize that winning a title is no easy feat, but I’m proud of the work our organization has done this offseason and look forward to the season ahead.”

Per the Philadelphia Inquirer, Harden “agreed to a two-year, $68.6 million deal to return to the 76ers, a league source confirmed. Harden will make $33 million during the 2022-23 season. The deal also includes a $35.6 million player option for 2023-24, allowing Harden to potentially enter free agency again next summer.”

Acquired by the 76ers as part of a five-player trade with the Nets on Feb. 10, 2022, Harden averaged 22.0 points (.410 FG, .330 3FG, .877 FT), 7.7 rebounds, 10.3 assists, 1.3 steals, and 37.2 minutes in 65 games played (all starts) between Brooklyn and Philadelphia in 2021-22. The 13-year veteran was one of two NBA players to tally at least 1,400 points, 500 rebounds, and 600 assists this past season, making him the fifth player in league history to accomplish that feat three times (Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook).

Also per the Inquirer, “the agreement comes less than a month after Harden declined his $47.4 million player option for the coming season, which allowed the Sixers to bolster their depth and toughness during free agency by signing veteran forward P.J. Tucker with the full mid-level exception and forward Danuel House with the biannual exception.”

Philadelphia starting lineups featured a league-best 20.2 net rating after Harden’s arrival to the team.

“This is where I want to be. This is where I want to win, and I think we have the pieces to accomplish that goal,” Harden said. “From my first day with the 76ers organization, the team and the fans have helped me feel at home here in Philadelphia. I’m excited to build off of last season and I can’t wait to get out on the court with the guys and start this journey.”

Harden posted totals of 442 points, 149 rebounds and 220 assists in his 21 games with the 76ers. He is the only player in league history to reach such totals within their first 21 outings with a new team. He also did so with the Brooklyn Nets in 2020-21.

This past season, Harden surpassed Hall of Famer Reggie Miller and moved into third place all-time in made three-pointers. He also posted 11 triple-doubles last season, which were the third-most in the NBA. For his career, Harden has the eighth-most triple-doubles in league history with 69.

“I couldn’t be happier with James’ decision to commit to our organization. Over the last two years we have taken major steps toward our ultimate goal of becoming champions,” said 76ers Head Coach Doc Rivers. “James shares our drive to win a title, and he believes being a 76er gives him the best opportunity to do that. Together, we will work tirelessly to achieve our goal.”

All told, Harden has appeared in 942 games (728 starts) with Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Houston and Oklahoma City and holds averages of 24.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.5 steals per game.

“James Harden is one of the greatest players in NBA history and a future Hall of Famer. His mission is to win an NBA title and we’re thrilled that he will continue that journey here in Philadelphia. He is one of the best scorers and passers to ever play, and his knowledge of the game allows him to dissect defenses and make everyone around him better,” Morey said. “James’ commitment to winning continues to resonate throughout our organization, and I believe we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible in his partnership with Joel and this talented roster. This is an exciting time for our franchise.”

Prior to last season with the Nets and 76ers, Harden spent parts of nine seasons (2012-21) with the Rockets. During that time, Harden was named the 2017-18 NBA MVP after leading the NBA in points per game (30.4) and finishing third in assists (8.8). He was also among the top-three vote-getters for the award each season from 2016-20. Harden ended his Houston career as the franchise’s all-time leader in three-pointers (2,029), free throws (5,554) and assists (4,796) while ranking second in team history with 18,365 total points and third with 1,087 steals.

Harden, a three-time NBA scoring champion (2018-20) and NBA Sixth Man of the Year (2011-12), is one of four players in league history to have at least three seasons averaging at least 20 points, five rebounds and 10 assists. The only other players to do so more than once are Russell Westbrook (five times) and Hall of Famers Magic Johnson (three times) and Oscar Robertson (five times). His 36.1 points per game average in 2018-19 was the second-highest by any player since the start of the 1970-71 season, behind only Hall of Famer Michael Jordan’s average of 37.1 in 1986-87.

A member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team, Harden helped lead the 76ers to their fifth consecutive playoff appearance.

James Harden struggles in Sixers loss to Nets

Thursday night in Philly, as a still-inactive Ben Simmons looked on, the Nets easily handled the Sixers, winning 129-100. Here’s the Philly Voice on the play of James Harden, who shot a miserable 3 for 17 and shot just two free throws for 11 points against his former squad:

James Harden was absolutely horrendous in this game. All the issues he has been accused of having when it matters in the playoffs came roaring to the forefront in a game with all eyes on it, and it was probably the single biggest reason the Sixers found themselves down 20 points early in this game. Brooklyn’s perimeter stars played at an A1 level, and Harden was a mess, turning the ball over and getting his shot packed whenever he tried to get into the painted area.

There were far too many attempts from Harden to sell contact and draw fouls when he could have simply played basketball. He didn’t look particularly good or shoot well even when he tried to reach deep into the stepback bag, but that was frankly a secondary issue. Throughout this game, Harden looked without a hope or a plan after spending most of his time here to date completely controlling games.

You look at Harden’s passing a lot differently when the other team has completely shut him down as a scorer. There were moments in Thursday’s game where it felt like Harden was so in his head and stuck in the mud that he simply wanted to get rid of the ball, uninterested in attacking the teeth of Brooklyn’s defense. And this isn’t even a good defense! Far from it, in fact. It’s almost hard to describe just how bad and detrimental to the cause Harden was in this game.

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Sixers trade Ben Simmons, Andre Drummond, Seth Curry and draft picks to Nets for James Harden and Paul Millsap

The Brooklyn Nets have acquired guard/forward Ben Simmons, guard Seth Curry, center Andre Drummond and two future first round draft picks in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers for guard James Harden and forward Paul Millsap.

In a related transaction, the Nets have requested waivers on forward DeAndre’ Bembry.

“James Harden is one of the truly elite players in the league. His career has been defined by incredible personal achievement, including honors as NBA MVP and three-time NBA scoring champion,” Philadelphia 76ers Managing Partner Josh Harris said. “We’re thrilled to pair him with Joel Embiid and this dynamic roster in our pursuit of an NBA title. I am proud to welcome James and Paul Millsap – a proven veteran and former All Star – to the 76ers, and can’t wait for what the future holds for the city and our fans.”

In the trade, Philadelphia sent Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, Ben Simmons, a 2022 first-round pick and a 2027 first-round pick to Brooklyn. The 2027 first-round pick is protected for selections 1-8. Should it not convey in 2027, it becomes a 2028 first-round pick, protected selections 1-8. If the pick does not convey in the first round of the 2028 NBA Draft, it becomes a 2028 second-round pick and cash consideration.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ben, Seth, Andre and their families to Brooklyn,” Nets General Manager Sean Marks said. “Ben is an All-NBA and All-Defensive player with elite playmaking abilities, while Seth has proven to consistently be one of the league’s best 3-point shooters and Andre has been one of the league’s top rebounders for the last decade. Together, the three will enhance our core by providing versatility and depth on both ends of the floor while better balancing our roster.

“The decision to trade James was a difficult one, however after recent discussions with him and his representatives we felt that this move would be best for all involved, as it better positions us to achieve our goals this season and in the years ahead. We appreciate everything that James has done for our organization both on and off the court and wish him, Paul and DeAndre’ the best moving forward.”

A three-time NBA All-Star (2019-21) and All-NBA Third Team selection in 2020, Simmons (6’10”, 240) has appeared in and started 275 career games in four seasons with Philadelphia, registering averages of 15.9 points on 56.0 percent shooting from the field, 8.1 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 1.7 steals in 33.9 minutes per game. A native of Melbourne, Australia, Simmons is a two-time NBA All-Defensive First Team performer (2020 and 2021) and led the league in steals per game (2.1) in the 2019-20 season. The 25-year-old Simmons is one of just five players in NBA history to total 4,000 points, 2,000 rebounds and 2,000 assists within their first four seasons, joining Grant Hill, LeBron James, Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson. He has also seen action in 34 playoff games across three postseason appearances, recording averages of 13.9 points on 57.1 percent shooting from the field, 8.0 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 1.4 steals in 35.1 minutes per contest. Simmons was originally selected with the first overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft by Philadelphia and secured Rookie of the Year honors after a standout first season with the 76ers. Prior to beginning his NBA career, Simmons spent one year (2015-16) at Louisiana State University, earning consensus first-team All-America honors, All-SEC First Team honors and the SEC Freshman of the Year award.

Curry (6’1”, 192) has appeared in 358 career games (180 starts) in eight seasons with Philadelphia, Dallas, Portland, Sacramento, Phoenix, Memphis and Cleveland, recording averages of 11.1 points on 47.5 percent shooting from the field, 43.7 percent shooting from 3-point range and 85.4 percent shooting from the free-throw line, 2.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 24.9 minutes per game. He has seen action in 45 games this season with the 76ers, posting averages of 15.0 points (a career high) on 48.5 percent shooting from the field, 40.0 percent shooting from distance and 87.7 percent shooting from the free-throw line, 3.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 34.8 minutes per contest. Across the last four seasons (2018-22), the 31-year-old Curry has shot 43.9 percent from 3-point range, second among all players (minimum 1,000 attempts), trailing only Joe Harris (45.8 percent). Curry also ranks fifth in NBA history in career 3-point percentage, trailing only Harris (43.9 percent) among active players. A native of Charlotte, N.C., Curry went undrafted in 2013 after playing collegiately at Liberty (2008-09) and Duke (2010-13), where he earned All-ACC First Team honors in his final collegiate season.

Drummond (6’10”, 280) has appeared in 694 games (606 starts) across 10 seasons with Philadelphia, Cleveland, Los Angeles Lakers and Detroit, recording averages of 13.9 points on 53.8 percent shooting from the field, 13.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.5 blocks in 29.9 minutes per game. In 49 games (12 starts) with the 76ers this season, Drummond has posted averages of 6.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.1 steals in 18.4 minutes per contest. The 28-year-old is a two-time All-Star (2016 and 2018), an All-NBA Third Team selection in 2016 and a four-time league leader in rebounds (2016, 2018-20). Among active players, Drummond ranks fourth in rebounds (9,272) and second in offensive rebounds (3,160). His career rebounds per game average is tops among all active players and 10th in NBA history. The Mount Vernon, N.Y., native was originally selected with the ninth overall pick in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft by Detroit after spending one year (2011-12) at the University of Connecticut, where he earned Big East All-Freshman Team honors.

For his career, Harden has appeared in 921 games (707 starts) with Brooklyn, Houston and Oklahoma City and holds averages of 25.0 points, 5.6 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 1.5 steals per game. The only non-active NBA players ever to average at least 25-5-6 for a career are Hall of Famers Oscar Robertson and Jerry West. Harden’s 67 triple-doubles rank eighth all-time in NBA history.

Harden was selected to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team in October 2021 by a blue-ribbon panel of current and former NBA players, coaches, general managers and team and league executives, WNBA legends and sportswriters and broadcasters.

This season, with the Nets, Harden has averaged 22.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 10.2 assists (second in the NBA) in 37.0 minutes per contest across 44 games (all starts), making him the only player this season with such averages. Harden has recorded nine triple-doubles, tied for the third-most in the league this season. He’s also registered 29 double-doubles, tied for the sixth-most in the league this season and the most among guards.

Earlier this month, Harden was named to the 2022 NBA All-Star Game, his 10th career selection. His streak of 10 consecutive All-Star selections is the second-longest active streak in the NBA.

Prior to joining the Nets in January 2021, Harden spent parts of nine seasons (2012-21) with the Rockets. During that time, Harden was named the 2017-18 NBA MVP after leading the NBA in points per game (30.4) and finishing third in assists (8.8). He was also among the top-three vote-getters for the award each season from 2016-20. Harden ended his Houston career as the franchise’s all-time leader in three-pointers (2,029), free throws (5,554) and assists (4,796) while ranking second in team history with 18,365 total points and third with 1,087 steals.

Harden, a three-time NBA scoring champion (2018-20) is one of four players in league history to have multiple seasons averaging at least 20 points, five rebounds and 10 assists. He’s in the midst of the third such season of his career. The only other players to do so more than once are Russell Westbrook (five times) and Hall of Famers Magic Johnson (three times) and Oscar Robertson (five times). His 36.1 points per game average in 2018-19 was the second-highest by any player since the start of the 1970-71 season, behind only Hall of Famer Michael Jordan’s average of 37.1 in 1986-87.

In his 13th NBA season, Harden was initially drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder with the No. 3 overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft where he went on to play three seasons and captured the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award in 2011-12.

Prior to entering the NBA, Harden spent two years (2007-09) at Arizona State, earning All-Pac-10 First Team honors twice and earning consensus first-team All-America honors. He was named the Pac-10 Player of the Year in his second and final collegiate season, leading the Sun Devils to a 25-10 record while averaging 20.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists.

Millsap has appeared in 1,076 career games (745 starts) across 16 NBA seasons with Brooklyn, Denver, Atlanta and Utah, recording averages of 13.5 points on .489 shooting from the floor, .341 from three-point range and .736 from the free-throw line, along with 7.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.0 blocks in 28.2 minutes per game.

This season with the Nets, Millsap appeared in 24 games and averaged 3.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 11.3 minutes per contest. Millsap’s teams have qualified for the postseason 12 times in his 15 NBA seasons, and he’s played in 129 total playoff games (75 starts) with averages of 12.2 points, while shooting .457 from the field, along with 6.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.1 blocks in 27.5 minutes per contest.

Millsap was originally selected by Utah with the No. 47 overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. After seven seasons with the Jazz, he signed with Atlanta where he was named an All-Star in four consecutive seasons, as he averaged 17.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.2 blocks per game. In 2015-16, Millsap was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team when he was the only NBA player to rank in the top 15 in both steals and blocks per game. For his career, he’s totaled 1,322 steals and 1,043 blocks, making him one of 10 players in NBA history to post at least 1,300 and 1,000. Millsap played his college basketball at Louisiana Tech University where he became the only player in NCAA Division I history to lead the nation in rebounds in three consecutive seasons.

Bembry appeared in 48 games (20 starts) this season, recording averages of 5.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.0 steals in 19.8 minutes per game after signing as a free agent with the Nets on Aug. 8, 2021. In 288 career games (55 starts) across six seasons with Brooklyn, Toronto and Atlanta, Bembry has averaged 6.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.0 steals in 19.4 minutes per contest.

Nets’ James Harden upgraded to Doubtful for Game 5 against Bucks

Will the Nets have James Harden available tonight? The answer could change between now and tipoff. But here’s the latest, via the New York Post:

With Brooklyn facing a desperate Eastern Conference semifinal Game 5, injured James Harden has been upgraded from out to doubtful Tuesday vs. Milwaukee.

“I don’t know if (he’s out) or not. I might have to wait,” Nets coach Steve Nash had said Monday. “He’s working out, so I have no idea if that means he has a chance for (Game 5) or not. I think there’s a plan behind the scenes that I don’t totally know what the deal is and then they’ll give us an update. But he’s working out.”

Harden went down just 43 seconds into this second-round series with what has been deemed right hamstring tightness. The Nets won the first two games without him at Barclays Center, but proceeded to drop the next two in Milwaukee to see the Bucks level the series and steal the momentum.

James Harden is having yet another amazing season

James Harden, traded by the Rockets to the Nets in mid January, continues to prove that he’s the rare type of superstar who can move mountains on a basketball court. Via the New York Post:

Where would the Nets, who are tied for the lead in the Eastern Conference, be without trading for Harden? Durant hasn’t played since Feb. 13 but the Nets are 12-1 without him as part of an extended 14-1 stretch. Irving was on a personal leave of absence when Harden was acquired and he has sat out three games during the recent surge, including Wednesday’s win over the Pacers, due to various shoulder and groin injuries.

“James is so elite he’s able to make the big plays that very few people can make down the stretch,” Nash said after coaching Harden through his 11th triple-double (40 points, 15 assists, 10 rebounds) in 42 minutes on Wednesday. “When he plays that many minutes, he stuffs the stat sheet. I could go on and on about James and the nuances of what he does all night, but he definitely is a winner, a leader, and an elite, elite performer.”

The Nets are 28-13 this season, which ties them with the Sixers for the best record in the Eastern conference.

Their leading scorers so far in 2020-21 are Durant at 29.0 points per game (just 19 games played), Irving at 27.6 ppg, Harden at 25.7 ppg, and Joe Harris at 14.7 ppg.