3 Bold James Harden Trade Proposals Sixers Must Consider

James Harden, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The relationship between an NBA star and their general manager is critical. If it starts to falter, it can cause massive issues. Just look at the Philadelphia 76ers. 

Recently, James Harden said that Sixers GM Daryl Morey was a “liar”. He said he’ll never play for him again. This has escalated quickly. At one point, we thought Harden and Morey would be best friends for life. At this point, that is evidently not going to happen. 

At the same time, it’s being reported that the Sixers have stopped engaging in trade talks for Harden. Perhaps that’s because Harden is reportedly only interested in joining the Los Angeles Clippers. If he’s desperate enough to get out of Philadelphia, he’ll have to open his mind to some other suitors. Here are three fresh deals that send Harden elsewhere. 

Trade No. 1 – Sixers Send Harden To New Orleans Pelicans

Philadelphia 76ers Receive: G CJ McCollum 
New Orleans Pelicans Receive: G James Harden 

By now, Harden is among the most distressed assets in the NBA. His desire to leave puts the Sixers’ backs against a wall. His public undressing of their GM only ramps up that pressure. Teams around the NBA know that Philadelphia has to resolve this issue: that puts them in a bad position to negotiate. 

That’s why they’re flipping Harden for a lesser player here. At the same time, McCollum could actually be a better fit next to Joel Embiid. His ability to operate without the ball makes him a more portable player. When Embiid is operating on the low block, McCollum’s presence would benefit the Sixers. 

NBA TRADES, NEWS & RUMORS: James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers & New Orleans Pelicans Updates

With that said, Harden remains the more dynamic offensive threat. That’s part of why the Pelicans make this deal. They’re also flipping McCollum’s long-term money for an expiring deal. Those factors combined make this trade worth their while in spite of any issues Harden comes attached with. 

Trade No. 2 – Sixers Send Harden To Chicago Bulls

Philadelphia 76ers Receive: G/F DeMar DeRozan, G Lonzo Ball 
Chicago Bulls Receive: G James Harden, F P.J. Tucker 

There’s some similar logic at play here. The Sixers want to bring a star-caliber player back in exchange for Harden. They’ll need to find one that a team is willing to move. Could the Bulls be willing to move DeRozan? 

They should be willing to entertain it. Meanwhile, on the subject of portability, Harden has an edge on DeRozan. Harden is at least a strong floor spacer, while DeRozan has always struggled with his three-pointer. The Bulls could feel that by pairing Harden with Zach LaVine, they could get back into the playoff mix. 

NBA TRADES, NEWS & RUMORS: James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers & Chicago Bulls Updates

With that said, the Sixers could have reservations about pairing Embiid with DeRozan. That’s fair. On the other hand, their options are limited. It’s hard to identify a lot of stars who teams would part with in exchange for Harden. Could the Sixers look to trade him for depth instead? 

Trade No. 3 – Sixers Send Harden To Utah Jazz 

Philadelphia 76ers Receive: G Jordan Clarkson, F/C Kelly Olynyk 
Utah Jazz Receive: G James Harden 

This situation has the potential to drag out. If the Sixers can’t find an offer that they like, they probably won’t make a deal. Meanwhile, Harden is on record: he’s not going to suit up for the Sixers again. 

With that in mind, options could open up around the trade deadline. Look at this deal. The Jazz can’t trade Jordan Clarkson right now – they just extended him. Leading into the trade deadline, he’ll be eligible to be moved. Could the Jazz move him for Harden? 

NBA TRADES, NEWS & RUMORS: James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers & Utah Jazz Updates

It’s a tough call. The Jazz may prefer to pass on Harden. That said, they could be motivated in a couple of different ways here. If they’re playing well, it’s a win-now move. If they’re not, they’re flipping Clarkson’s deal for an expiring contract. As for the Sixers, they’re trading Harden for two good role players. You can blame that on Harden – or, you can blame that on Morey. 

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