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October 31, 2023

Report: Sixers trade James Harden to Los Angeles Clippers

The Sixers have reportedly traded James Harden, P.J. Tucker and Filip Petrusev to the Los Angeles Clippers for Nic Batum, Robert Covington, Marcus Morris Sr., Kenyon Martin Jr. and multiple draft assets.

The Sixers finally traded embattled star guard James Harden early Tuesday morning, according to reports.

As first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the team is sending Harden, PJ Tucker and rookie Filip Petrusev to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Nic Batum, Robert Covington, Marcus Morris Sr., Kenyon Martin Jr. and draft compensation: an unprotected 2028 first-round pick, a future first-round pick swap, two future second-round picks and another first-round pick to be rerouted from a third team.

The Sixers, per Wojnarowski, are waiving Danny Green to help facilitate the deal, too.

This ends a painful saga for the team, which began with Harden's trade request in June and escalated during the offseason, most notably due to Harden publicly calling Daryl Morey, the team's President of Basketball Operations, a "liar." Harden has been with the team off and on and had been with the group but not playing at the time of the deal. The team had him working on his "conditioning."

The move further cements the importance moving forward of Sixers fourth-year guard Tyrese Maxey, who has shined early in the season as he attempts to pick up where Harden left off last season. Maxey's continued development as a playmaker figures to be one of the most interesting storylines surrounding the team for the time being.

In Batum, Covington, Morris Sr. and Martin, the Sixers have at least two players who can help them right now, if not more. Batum is a reliable spot-up shooter with passing chops. Covington is not as effective anymore as he was in his first stint in Philadelphia, but he remains more than capable as both a shooter and defensive wing. Morris Sr. has not yet logged a minute in the 2023-24 season due to "personal reasons," and his inclusion in the deal is more for financial purposes than anything else. Martin, still just 22 years old, is a high-flyer who is thought to have untapped potential after a few years with the Houston Rockets. Martin is the kind of athlete who has thrived before under new Sixers head coach Nick Nurse. He is perhaps the wild card of the trade.

The exact specifics of the draft picks the Sixers are acquiring remain unknown, but they are adding very noteworthy compensation in the deal. The Clippers' 2028 unprotected first-round pick, in particular, is perhaps the most valuable asset in the entire deal on the Sixers' end.

The Sixers will commit — for now, at least — to a roster construction which features reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid, Maxey, Tobias Harris and role players, in hopes that Embiid does not need a traditional second star to bring his team a championship — or that Maxey can be that second star, a tall task for someone turning 23 years old this week.


More trade details have become available, including Oklahoma City's part in what is a three-team deal:

Picks galore.

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