The long saga surrounding a potential James Harden trade has seemingly come to an end. And its result is the worst-case scenario for the Philadelphia 76ers. The James Harden trade market is dead. Plain and simple.
According to Brian Windhorst, the Los Angeles Clippers have ended trade talks surrounding the ten-time all-star. With the Clippers the only team that showed real interest, the rest of the market has been silent. Now Harden and president of basketball operations Daryl Morey are seemingly in a standoff.
The Fallout of a Failed Trade
Morey set the precedent that the Sixers would be expecting an all-star-level return package for Harden. But let’s face the facts. Harden is 34 years old, is no longer the dominant scoring threat that he once was, and has had very public trade demands with his last three organizations. That isn’t exactly the most attractive baggage for a player on an expiring contract.
And as for Harden, he’s made it very clear that he has no intentions of playing under Morey again. But he’s now in a position where there’s no way he can come out on top. If there’s no Harden trade and he sits out, he’s held financially liable and would still be under contract following this season under the new collective bargaining agreement.
But this also has a devastating effect on the Sixers. Whether Harden plays or not, it’s clear that his severance with the organization is going to have an impact on the court. And with looming drama over their personnel, it’s going to be a lot more difficult for the reigning MVP Joel Embiid to focus on leading the team.
Perhaps Harden could be shoehorned into a possible Damian Lillard trade to another team, but as it stands, it looks like Harden’s future on the court is now in limbo.
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