Trade Rumors: Harden, Bogdanovic, Mavs, Zion, Blazers

Although James Harden hasn’t backed off the trade request he made in June, there’s no indication that the Sixers are on the verge of dealing the former MVP, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne said during an appearance on NBA Today on Tuesday (YouTube link).

“(Harden and the Sixers) have spoken again, and he still reiterated he wants to be traded,” Shelburne said. “Now, this isn’t a demand, it’s a request. I think the Sixers have said, ‘Okay, we will try to trade you,’ but there is no hurry to do this. I think the Sixers understand that they have the leverage here. James has picked up his option… He’s going to be a free agent after this season, so at some point he needs to play, whether that’s in Philadelphia or elsewhere.”

The situation in Philadelphia, as Shelburne portrays it, isn’t acrimonious. While Harden would prefer to play elsewhere, it’s not necessarily a sure thing that he’ll be wearing another uniform when the 2023/24 season begins.

“There is a sense that if they can give it some time – and he’s cool with his teammates, he’s been talking to Joel Embiid, he’s been talking to Patrick Beverley, P.J. Tucker – that eventually maybe those fences can be mended, and there is a path to reconciliation with James Harden,” Shelburne said. “But for now, he has reiterated his trade request.”

Here are a few more trade-related items from around the NBA:

  • In the latest episode of his Howdy Partners podcast (YouTube link; hat tip to The Smoking Cuban), ESPN’s Tim MacMahon said he has “heard some rumblings” about the Mavericks circling back to Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic, who was linked to Dallas prior to the draft. MacMahon cautions that he’s not sure the Mavs have the assets to land Bogdanovic, given Detroit’s high asking price, and suggests Dallas’ priority may be to trade for a starting-caliber center.
  • According to Jake Madison of Locked on Pelicans (Twitter link), Chris Haynes of TNT said on a TV broadcast last Friday that league executives got the sense this offseason that Pelicans forward Zion Williamson could be had “for the right situation and the right package.” However, sources have told Zach Lowe of ESPN (Insider link) that New Orleans wasn’t prepared to “pivot away” from Williamson on draft day, and ESPN’s Andrew Lopez said in the latest Hoop Collective podcast (YouTube link) that the Pelicans’ trade offers for the No. 2 and No. 3 picks in this year’s draft were heavily based around future picks, not players.
  • Within that same story, Lowe says he hasn’t heard compelling evidence that a “sensible” trade was available for the Trail Blazers with the No. 3 overall pick last month. The Nets never showed any interest in giving up Mikal Bridges for a package based around the No. 3 pick and Anfernee Simons, according to Lowe, who says the Heat “chuckled” at the idea of Portland asking for Bam Adebayo. The Raptors also weren’t ready to move off of Pascal Siakam or OG Anunoby as of draft day, Lowe adds, though it’s unclear if the Blazers would have moved the No. 3 pick in a deal for either player.
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