For however long James Harden remains on the Philadelphia 76ers, all eyes will remain on the Los Angeles Clippers and whether they’ll be able to make a trade. Harden has expressed his desire for Philly to move him, and his preferred destination is Los Angeles, where he would get to team up with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
That request came at the beginning of the offseason, and with training camp starting, Harden is still a member of the Sixers. While he joined the team for camp, the clock is still ticking on a potential deal, and according to Sam Amick and Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Clippers are leaving no stone unturned in trying to make something happen.
League sources say the Clippers have been talking to several teams about ways to move pick swaps for additional draft capital with the intention of bolstering their offer and getting a deal done.
The Clippers offered the Sixers an unprotected first-round pick, a pick swap and salaries for Harden in July, league sources say, but Philadelphia has set a much higher threshold. The Sixers have valued fifth-year forward Terance Mann and multiple first-round picks in a potential trade with the Clippers, sources added.
It’s an interesting spot for Los Angeles to be in, as the team is just starting to recoup draft capital following the trade that brought George (and, by extension, Leonard) to the team. But for the merits of playing the long game, the team is incentivized to try and win as soon as possible, as both of those All-Stars are in line for extensions before they are potentially unrestricted free agents next summer. (Harden, it should be noted, is also set to hit the open market.)
As for whether or not the Sixers are able to get Mann, that is a separate story. The soon-to-be 27-year-old wing would be a snug fit alongside Tyrese Maxey in their backcourt, and he’s about to enter the first season of a two-year, $22 million extension.