The Clippers’ daring commerce technique to land a star would possibly simply work

The LA Clippers have been extra energetic of their pursuit of James Harden because the common season approaches. Nonetheless, a deal could or could not get performed on account of haggling over the property. The Sixers need Terrance Mann and two first-round picks, whereas the Clippers have reportedly drawn a line when it comes to what they are going to provide.

For Philly, buying and selling Harden isn’t so simple as simply getting the very best deal. They plan to have main cap area in the summertime of 2024 to retool round MVP Joel Embiid, which means that they don’t wish to take again long-term wage. Fortunately for the Clippers, they will match salaries in a Harden deal by buying and selling the expiring salaries of Marcus Morris, Nic Batum, and Robert Covington, in addition to two firsts. Nonetheless, none of these gamers assist the Sixers win now, even when these picks would assist the Sixers transfer on from their second-best participant in the long term.

The Clippers taking part in hardball with Philadelphia may put the Sixers in a bind.

Taking a step again after shifting Harden is probably going inevitable, however taking the Clippers’ presumed provide would primarily imply that the Sixers could be punting on this season. With Harden making use of inside stress and no different apparent commerce companions, they most likely don’t have a lot of a alternative. Additionally, it’s not just like the Sixers would have the ability to compete with the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics this season.

All that makes it look like a smart move for the Clippers to cap their provide and put the ball in Philly’s court docket. They will decline the provide, which might pressure them to cope with Harden and his growing antics.

That would not solely tank his worth additional but additionally probably flip Embiid towards the crew. Or, they might take the Clippers’ provide, presumably together with the 2 first-round picks, do their greatest to compete this yr, and attempt to reload subsequent summer season.

That deal isn’t with out threat for the Clippers, who’re already out of fairly a couple of draft property from the Paul George commerce, and giving up two extra for an growing old star may blow up of their face. However, regardless of Harden dropping off from his peak, he’s nonetheless an all-star caliber participant and needs to play in LA.

In the event that they have been to commerce for him, he would most likely be on his greatest conduct, particularly since he’d be taking part in with two different stars, Kawhi Leonard and George, in addition to former teammate Russell Westbrook. Thus, the Clippers are proper to pursue Harden and their take-it-or-leave-it technique may guarantee they don’t overpay for him.

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