Adrian WojnarowskiTop NBA Insider4 minutes to read
The 76ers sent Harden, P.J. Tucker and Filip Petrusev to the Clippers in exchange for Marcus Morris, Robert Covington, Nic Batum, KJ Martin, an unprotected 2028 first-round pick, two second-round picks, a trade of a 2029 pick and an additional first-round pick that sources told ESPN would be Directed by a third team.
The Clippers and a third team were still finalizing those details late Monday night, sources said.
The Sixers will waive veteran guard Danny Green to create roster space for the trade, sources said.
The Clippers signed Harden to join All-Star forwards Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, in addition to guard Russell Westbrook, who played alongside Harden for the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets. The Clippers and Sixers have been discussing a Harden trade since July, and they finally completed an agreement late Monday night.
The Clippers and 76ers began talking again about a trade over the weekend as it became increasingly impossible for Harden to be integrated back into the Sixers’ lineup, sources said.
The Sixers wanted two first-round picks out of the Harden deal and believe those assets — along with second-round picks and a pick swap — give them an opportunity to pursue another high-profile point guard in a trade. To partner with MVP Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey this season. As for the Clippers, they retain versatile fifth-year guard Terrence Mann, who is sidelined with a sprained left ankle.
Harden is “ecstatic” to be going to the Clippers and hopes to travel to Los Angeles as soon as possible, sources close to him told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. There is a possibility that he will attend the Clippers’ home game on Tuesday night against the Orlando Magic.
Harden, 34, asked to leave Philadelphia in June when he accepted a player option worth $35.6 million for the 2023-2024 season. During a promotional appearance in China in August, he called 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey a “liar” several times, and Harden admitted earlier this month upon his return to the team that their relationship was beyond repair.
Harden has yet to play for Philadelphia this season, though he was on the bench with his teammates during Sunday’s game, wearing jeans and a green jacket, after participating in the 76ers’ walk-through and pregame video session. He was expected to participate in team training on Tuesday at the team’s facility in Camden, New Jersey.
Harden, who grew up in Southern California and starred at Artesia High School in Lakewood, has expressed a desire to be traded to the Clippers. The Guard is just the latest Southern California product to play at home for the Clippers.
Leonard, who is from Moreno Valley and played at Martin Luther King High School in Riverside, and George, who grew up in Palmdale and played at Knight High School, decided to join the Clippers during the summer of 2019. The Clippers signed Leonard as a free agent and traded four future draft picks to One first-round pick, one top-round pick and two pick swaps along with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari for George.
The Clippers also signed Westbrook, who played at Leuzinger High School in Lawndale before starring at UCLA, as a free agent during the All-Star break, after the point guard was bought out of his contract with Utah following a trade from the Lakers.
Harden has been one of the league’s best players over the past decade, winning three scoring titles and the 2018 league MVP award. He led the league in assists last season.
In Harden, Westbrook and George, the Clippers now have three of the top six active players in points scored among those who have never won a title, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. With those three surrounding Leonard, a two-time NBA Finals MVP, the Clippers are hoping to win their first NBA championship in franchise history.
The Clippers (2-1) begin a back-to-back set in Los Angeles against the Magic on Tuesday before facing the Lakers on Wednesday. The Clippers have four days off after that, so coach Tyronn Lue will bring in Harden and Tucker before opening a three-game road trip in New York against the Knicks on Monday.
On this road trip, Harden could play with his former team, the Nets, in Brooklyn on Wednesday before the Clippers finish their match in Dallas next Friday.
ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk contributed to this report.
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