The Los Angeles Clippers appear to have a backup plan in place in the event that a James Harden trade with the Philadelphia 76ers doesn’t materialize.
At this point, the details surrounding Philly’s negotiations with L.A. about Harden are the NBA’s worst kept secret. The 76ers have made their asking price known. The Clippers are steadfast in their refusal to include two key role players.
Although some progress has been made this week, Harden also spoke recently like someone who understands that a deal may not happen.
So what does that mean for the Clippers? It means that they have had to develop a Plan B.
According to NBA insider Kyle Neubeck, Los Angeles still has “continued interest” in Malcom Brogdon. The Clippers originally tried to acquire him from the Boston Celtics earlier in the offseason, only to watch that deal fall apart after a failed physical. Shortly thereafter, he was instead moved to the Portland Trail Blazers.
Whether the Clippers will be able to pry him away for a cheap price remains to be seen, though.
This week, during a session with the media, Harden was asked point blank whether he feels like his relationship with Sixers president Daryl Morey can be fixed.
#Sixers PG James Harden said he had a relation with the front office (not referring Daryl Morey by name) for 10 years. Asked if he thinks it can repaired, Harden said, “No.” Then he explains why: pic.twitter.com/iTIlktx5Z1
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) October 13, 2023
“No,” he replied.
“My whole thing was I wanted to retire a Sixer and the front office didn’t have that in their future plans. It’s literally out of my control. It’s something I didn’t want to happen …
“But I’ve got to make a decision for my family. I understand this is a business. It’s just as simple as that. If I’m here today, I’ll work my butt off and do the things necessary as a professional as I’ve been doing for 15 years.”
Livvy Dunne wears her boyfriend’s sweatshirt and nothing else in wild new video: https://t.co/FJn3y0xv2C
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 14, 2023
Theoretically, Harden’s clear resistance and anger towards the top of Philly’s front office should signal that a trade must be made.
Then again, as the Sixers proved with Ben Simmons, they are willing to play long game. They refuse to give a star up for peanuts regardless of how much acrimony there is.
Will the 76ers and Clippers find a way to land Harden in L.A. at some point over the next few months? Time will tell.
A graduate from the University of Texas, Anthony Amador has been credentialed to cover the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and high school games all over the Lone Star State. Currently, his primary beats are the NBA, MLB, NFL and UFC.