Sixers Trade James Harden To Clippers In Three-Team Deal

NOVEMBER 1: The trade is official, according to press releases from all three teams. The terms of the deal are as follows:

  • Clippers acquire James Harden, P.J. Tucker, and Filip Petrusev.
  • Sixers acquire Marcus Morris; Nicolas Batum; Robert Covington; Kenyon Martin Jr.; the Clippers’ 2028 first-round pick (unprotected); either the Rockets’ (top-four protected), Clippers’, or Thunder’s 2026 first-round pick (whichever is least favorable); the right to swap their own 2029 first-round pick with the Clippers’ 2029 first-round pick (top-three protected); a 2024 second-round pick (details below); the Clippers’ 2029 second-round pick; and cash ($2MM; from Clippers).
    • Note: The 2024 second-round pick acquired by the Sixers will be either the Raptors’, Pacers’, Jazz’s, or Cavaliers’ pick, whichever is most favorable. If either the Jazz’s or Cavaliers’ pick is the most favorable, Philadelphia would instead receive the second-most favorable of the four.
  • Thunder acquire the right to swap either their own 2027 first-round pick or the Nuggets’ 2027 first-round pick (top-five protected) for the Clippers’ 2027 first-round pick (unprotected) and cash ($1.1MM; from Clippers).

As expected, Danny Green was waived by the Sixers in order to make room for the incoming players.

Harden received the maximum portion of his trade bonus ($40,595) that he could while still making the deal legal for salary-matching purposes, Hoops Rumors has learned.

OCTOBER 31: The Sixers are shipping star guard James Harden to the Clippers, his latest destination of choice, sources inform Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

According to Wojnarowski, Philadelphia is sending out Harden, veteran forward P.J. Tucker and rookie center Filip Petrusev to Los Angeles in exchange for forwards Kenyon Martin Jr., Marcus Morris, Nicolas Batum and Robert Covington, plus some significant future draft equity.

The 76ers will receive the Clippers’ 2028 unprotected first-round draft pick, two second-rounders and a 2029 pick swap, as well as an additional first-round pick. That extra first-round pick the Sixers are acquiring in the blockbuster deal is a 2026 first-rounder that had been controlled by the Thunder, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), the Thunder will receive a 2027 first-round pick swap from the Clippers in exchange for that 2026 first-rounder. Derek Bodner of PHLY Sports reports (via Twitter) that the 2026 first-round selection the Thunder are trading to Philadelphia will be the least favorable of the Clippers’ pick, OKC’s own pick, and Houston’s selection (top-four protected).

The two second-round picks the Clippers are trading to the Sixers are 2024 and 2029 selections, sources tell Wojnarowski. The ’29 pick will be Los Angeles’ own, but the Clips have already traded away their own 2024 second-round pick, so the other second-rounder in this deal will be one of two others that L.A. controls (one is Toronto’s pick; the other could be Indiana’s, Utah’s, or Cleveland’s).

Philadelphia wing Danny Green is being cut to create an open roster spot for the new additions from the Clippers, sources tell Wojnarowski. Green’s salary had only been partially guaranteed for $200K.

According to Wojnarowski, the Sixers and Clippers – who have had conversations about Harden for months – began talking again over the weekend following L.A.’s recent “pause” in negotiations, with Philadelphia recognizing it was becoming increasingly untenable to incorporate Harden back into its lineup.

This will bring the latest Harden trade request saga to a close. The 10-time All-Star opted into the final season of his current contract, worth $35.6MM, and immediately requested a trade rather than joining a new team in free agency. It was the third time in three years that he had sought a change of scenery via trade — he was originally dealt from Houston to Brooklyn in 2021, then from Brooklyn to Philadelphia in 2022.

Following his June trade request, Harden made some explosive comments over the summer about Sixers team president Daryl Morey, calling him a “liar” and saying he had no intention of being part of the same organization as Morey. When the NBA launched an investigation into those comments, Harden informed league investigators that he called Morey a liar because he told the former MVP he’d be traded “quickly” after he asked to be moved. The incident cost him $100K.

Harden skipped media day and the first day of training camp before reporting to the 76ers this fall. He participated in just one 5-on-5 scrimmage and no preseason games before leaving the team again for what was described as a personal matter, only to return after a 10-day absence. He has missed all of Philadelphia’s regular season games to this point as he continues to ramp up to game shape.

Harden struggled with injuries in 2022/23. Though the 34-year-old was clearly no longer in his athletic prime, he remained his prolific self while playing alongside eventual MVP Joel Embiid. Across 58 regular season contests, he averaged 21.0 points per game on .441/.385/.867 shooting, also contributing 10.7 assists, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per night.

According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, Harden is “ecstatic” to be joining the Clippers alongside fellow Southern California natives Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Russell Westbrook. Los Angeles has long sought a play-making point guard who can stretch the floor alongside its two star forwards and will now insert Harden into that role for at least the 2023/24 season.

Harden is on an expiring contract and won’t become extension-eligible before reaching unrestricted free agency next July. Leonard, George, and Westbrook all have 2024/25 player options, so they could also hit the open market after the season if things don’t go well in L.A., though Leonard and George remain eligible to sign extensions before then.

Harden is hoping to fly to Los Angeles right away and there’s a chance he’ll attend the Clippers’ home game against Orlando on Tuesday, Shelburne adds, though it will likely still be a few days before he makes his debut for his new team.

It remains to be seen whether or not the Clippers will hang onto Petrusev, tweets Law Murray of The Athletic, though Tucker is in their plans.

While the Sixers won’t land Terance Mann – whose inclusion in the deal was long believed to be a sticking point – they’ll acquire four players on expiring contracts and get out from under Tucker’s 2024/25 player option, further increasing their cap flexibility for the summer of 2024. They project to have between $50-65MM in space next offseason, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

The draft assets and expiring contracts the Sixers are acquiring from Los Angeles also put Philadelphia in position to make another pre-deadline trade to further reinforce its roster. The 76ers are expected to scour the trade market for another “high-level guard,” writes Wojnarowski.

The four players the Sixers are adding in this deal will be ineligible to have their salaries aggregated in a separate trade for the next two months, but could be flipped immediately as long as they’re not being combined with other players for salary-matching purposes.

Meanwhile, as Marks observes (via Twitter), Harden’s contract includes a $5.1MM trade bonus, which Philadelphia would be responsible for paying. However, based on the terms that have been reported so far, he would have to waive most or all of that bonus for the trade to be legal.

The Clippers’ projected luxury tax bill is projected to increase by approximately $29MM once the deal is finalized, Marks adds (via Twitter), while the Sixers’ projected tax bill will dip by $13.4MM.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

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