NBA Stars #6: James Harden
The LA Clippers are the frontrunners to acquire former MVP James Harden from the Philadelphia 76ers. But there have been stops and starts in trade talks, with the Sixers wanting a lot for Harden and the Clippers unwilling to give up more than absolutely necessary.
However, Harden appears to be ramping up his internal pressure campaign to try and force the Sixers to trade him for less than he is actually worth. Whether Sixers team President Daryl Morey will cave to Harden’s tactics remains to be seen, but he didn’t for Ben Simmons. Playing hardball with Simmons is how he got Harden and doing the same thing with Harden might be how they get another star to play alongside MVP Joel Embiid.
That might take time, however, and Philly might start the season off in a hole with their second-best player actively trying to get moved. Worse yet, they are clearly behind the Bucks, Celtics, and Heat in the Eastern Conference’s hierarchy. If they don’t win the Harden deal, they could drop further.
It’s apparent that Harden won’t play out his contract in Philadelphia but no matter where he is traded, he will still hit free agency for the first time in his career.