The Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers have been engaged in serious conversations around a James Harden trade for more than a month.
Only L.A. has truly been interested, and even they have balked at the prospect of trading two key role players for Harden. Their rationale is clear: they are the only ones bidding for his services.
That being said, the Clippers and Sixers front offices seemingly recently found some common ground on a Harden deal.
At this point, only one person seems to be holding up the trade.
According to NBA insider Keith Pompey, “Morey is the one holding up the deal.”
The Clippers are reportedly offering a first-rounder, draft-pick swap and expiring deals for Harden. Thus far, Morey remains unmoved.
“But the plan to add draft-pick swaps in a package for Harden hasn’t moved the needle for the Sixers,” Pompey wrote.
“They’ve said they’re interested in a package that includes Clippers guard Terance Mann and first-round picks. But the source said Morey knows Mann is untouchable.
“The Sixers are looking for an All-Star player or assets to acquire for Harden. That’s why draft-pick swaps may not be good enough. And word is that the Sixers don’t expect the picks from the Clippers, who need to stay relevant in a big market, to be that valuable, especially with them being a perennial playoff team.”
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Despite Morey’s steadfast refusal to give in to the Clippers, talks at least seem to be proceeding in a positive direction.
Whereas the Sixers waited until the NBA Trade Deadline to ultimately move Ben Simmons, it doesn’t feel like that will happen here.
Will the Clippers be able to get this one over the goal line and actually acquire Harden? An answer one way or the other will come soon enough.
Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7’s go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.