NBA

Harden could make Clippers debut Monday against the Knicks

By Sports Desk November 01, 2023

James Harden is on track to make his Clippers debut on Monday when Los Angeles faces the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Wednesday.

Philadelphia agreed to send Harden, P.J. Tucker and Filip Petrusev to Los Angeles on Tuesday in exchange for Marcus Morris, Robert Covington, Nic Batum, KJ Martin, a 2028 unprotected first-round pick, two second-round picks, a 2029 pick swap and a first-round pick that can be routed from a third team.

The trade ended the saga between the 76ers and Harden, who in August blasted team president Darly Morey at a promotional event in China.

"Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of," Harden said. "Let me say that again: Daryl Morey is a liar, and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of."

Harden's comments were a response to the 76ers telling Harden's agent that Morey was unable to find a trade for the 2017-18 NBA MVP, and the franchise wouldn't deal him unless it could find a trade that would help Philadelphia contend for a championship.

Harden picked up his $35.6million player option for the 2023-24 season in late June, and then immediately requested a trade.

He could have declined the option and become a free agent but was hoping by exercising his option it would facilitate a trade.

Harden reiterated his stance in early October, saying his relationship with Morey is beyond repair and he still wanted to be traded.

ESPN reported that Harden is delighted to be joining the Clippers, where he will team up with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. There will also be a reunion with Russell Westbrook, who Harden played alongside for the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Harden averaged 21 points, an NBA-best 10.7 assists and 6.1 rebounds last season.

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