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Clippers “not being desperate” about Sixers’ James Harden

The Philadelphia 76ers remain tough on their stance of not trading James Harden for pennies on the dollar, and the Los Angeles Clippers reportedly don’t plan on budging any time soon on their offers either.

2023 NBA Playoffs- Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

The infuriating game of chicken between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Clippers continues regarding 10-time All-Star James Harden.

As it stands, neither side is willing to budge to make a trade happen. The Clippers aren’t offering much, and Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey isn’t selling for pennies on the dollar.

Looking forward, however, Marc J. Spears, senior NBA writer for AndScape, said on a recent ESPN appearance that the Clippers may be waiting to see how destructive the fires of the drama can get before really swooping in for Harden at a lower price.

“From what I’m being told about the Clippers is they’re not being desperate [about James Harden]. They feel like they’re going to keep watching this fire burn,” Spears said. “At some point the Sixers could be desperate and they’re gonna get pennies on dollar instead of the big demands that Daryl Morey is making.”

At this point, everything is a leverage play and nothing more. The Clippers have little incentive to buy high right now, and the Sixers have little incentive to sell low. Frankly, there’s not going to be much reason for that to change in the coming weeks. The situation is as ugly as it can possibly get prior to the teams taking to the boards to start the season. Why would either side blink now?

The next step is training camp, beginning Oct. 3. Sam Amick of The Athletic reported earlier this summer of Harden’s intentions not to report to camp, which would be the first step in Harden losing money over his temper tantrum. Of course, he could pull a Jimmy Butler in Minnesota, physically showing up but then being as disruptive as possible in trying to force Morey’s hand.

That is when the wheels might finally shift into motion at least a little. We all saw back in Brooklyn what Harden is willing to do when disgruntled and trying to force a trade... it’s how Philadelphia ended up with The Beard in the first place.

(Although Harden’s ongoing hamstring issues plaguing him in Philadelphia to the degree they did, or Kyrie Irving’s vaccination stance might call into question allegations he once totally quit on the Nets).

We might be heading into the beginning of the regular season to get someone on either side of this battle to flinch. It might take a rough start for the Clippers or Sixers to realize they have to cave a little to reach a resolution. The beginning of the new season could also bring unexpected struggles for other teams, and possibly bring new suitors looking to make a play for Harden to Morey’s door.

But the season doesn’t tip off until Oct. 24.

All this to say, hope you’re enjoying the merry-go-ride because none of us can get off just yet.

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