Doc Rivers Tries Taking Credit For Clippers’ James Harden Trade

James Harden, Doc Rivers, 76ers, Clippers, NBA
Apr 20, 2023; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden (1) is greeted by head coach Doc Rivers during game three of the 2023 NBA playoffs against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Arguably the biggest trade in the NBA during the 2023-24 regular season happened very early on between the Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers. After weeks of speculation, former MVP James Harden was finally traded to the Clippers in a blockbuster deal.

It turned out to be a three-team deal that also included the Oklahoma City Thunder. Filip Petrusev and P.J. Tucker joined Harden in Los Angeles, while Nicolas Batum, Marcus Morris Sr., Robert Covington and KJ Martin were sent to the City of Brotherly Love.

After a rough stretch out of the gate with Harden in the lineup, the Clippers have been one of the most dominant teams in the NBA. Since starting the season 3-7, Los Angeles has gone 33-10, ascending the standings in the Western Conference.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Doc Rivers, James Harden, Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers Updates

As long as the Clippers can have good health, something that hasn’t been the case in recent years, they will contend for the NBA Championship. The trio of Harden, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George has been an excellent one, leading the team to plenty of victories.

Could all of the thanks for this deal getting done go to former 76ers and Clippers head coach Doc Rivers? He recently revealed during NBA All-Star Weekend that he was the one who pushed the deal along after being consulted by Los Angeles.

“I was the one, obviously, they consulted,” Rivers said. “They made calls and I was one of the guys who said it would be a great deal for them because I thought he fit them better than he would fit the Sixers team. I think he’s a perfect fit there. 

“It’s a league. We talk. They just talked, asked questions, and I was on board early,” Rivers said to ClutchPoints.

While Rivers is certainly correct that there is a brotherhood in the NBA, as people will talk to their peers about happenings around the league. But to take credit for facilitating this deal seems a bit farfetched.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Doc Rivers, James Harden, Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers Updates

Negotiations went on for months between the two sides and it would be odd for Rivers to help another franchise in the league while he was doing consulting work for another, the Milwaukee Bucks. He has since taken over as head coach of the team from Adrian Griffin.

The relationship between Rivers and Harden is one that was reportedly strained by the end of their tenure together in Philadelphia. Harden reportedly didn’t want to play for Rivers anymore, which makes Rivers advocating for the Clippers to get the deal done even more perplexing.

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