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Report: Clippers remain ‘unserious’ with trade offers for James Harden

We seem to be getting no closer to the Sixers trading James Harden, as the Clippers remain “unserious” with their offers.

Philadelphia 76ers v LA Clippers Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

If we’re ever going to get a James Harden trade this year, it seems like the Sixers sending him to the Clippers is the most likely outcome right now.

The latest from Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voice isn’t much of a change, but still reiterates that the Clippers aren’t getting serious with their offers:

Even the Clippers, Harden’s preferred destination, have been fairly unserious about what they’re willing to give up in order to acquire him. The prevailing sentiment seems to be that Harden is still valued, but on the team’s terms, which is a shift from the franchise-defining clout Harden had at his peak.

After the Rockets went in another direction with their new point guard and made a major investment by signing Fred VanVleet on a three-year, $130 million deal, the Clippers are still left as the main Harden suitor. They’ve been the other team with the most reported interest and they’re at the top of Harden’s wish list. Recent reporting hasn’t budged when it comes to Harden and his camp wanting (and supposedly expecting) him to join the Clips.

Adding Harden’s elite playmaking makes sense for a Clippers offense that could certainly benefit from it. If they want to shake up their team and improve that area of their attack (albeit with the negatives of Harden’s age, declining athleticism, and those ever-present playoff struggles), they need to get relatively serious with an offer. They can’t keep every role player of value and get someone who still played at an All-Star level last regular season and led the NBA in assists. There should still be a market for Harden — even if it’s obviously far from what it would have been near his peak.

But, for now at least, the Clippers clearly aren’t upping their offers and coming up with a serious trade package. Being this reluctant to include Terance Mann (a fine, talented player, but far from a budding young star to headline a big offer at nearly 27 years old) isn’t going to get them anywhere.

At this rate, it makes sense for the Sixers to keep waiting (something we know Daryl Morey is happy to do) until they get a suitable offer. After opting into his player option for 2023-24, there’s only so much disruption Harden can think about causing next season when he’ll be playing for a new contract.

Ultimately, the slow waiting game of the Harden trade saga (and this Sixers offseason in general) continues.

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