After months of back and forth, Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden was finally traded to the LA Clippers. Despite the haggling, the framework of the trade remained mostly unchanged, with Harden being moved in a deal that included Nic Batum, Marcus Morris, and Robert Covington.
The deal netted the Sixers two first-round picks, a second-round pick, and a pick swap, as well as allowing them to clear out additional cap space for next summer. However, the trade wasn’t as good as some Sixers fans had hoped for, with Philadelphia receiving no star in return for their second-best player. While this may be the first in a series of trades for the Sixers, let’s take a look at the five winners and losers of the Harden deal.
NBA Trade Losers: Philadelphia 76ers
In some ways, the Sixers could be considered both winners and losers of the Harden deal, but for the sake of formatting, we will call them a loser. One reason is that they basically waited three months to move Harden and to the Clippers no less. They didn’t even get all that they wanted from LA, suggested that they didn’t win the deal.
On the plus side, they did acquire several potentially useful picks, whie also clearing out P.J. Tucker and his $11.5 million in player salary off the books for next season. That is important because they only have three players under contract for next season including Embiid but could get down to just him and Tyrese Maxey’s cap hold.
That could give them $64 million in cap space which they could use to pursue a star free agent or even two. Or they can try to trade for one of those stars, ensuring that they get a player who can help them now rather than wait until the summer and risk not landing one. That being said, not trading a star for a star could hurt them in the short term until they figure out their next more.