The James Harden saga continues on it's whirlwind tour.
First major Harden has opted into his $35.6 million contract earlier in the offseason, with the intention of being traded from the Philadelphia 76ers, fueling NBA odds about where he would land.
Then nothing happened.
Then this past weekend, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that, despite having conversations with the Clippers, no deals materialized and Harden would be on the roster to start the season.
So nothing was going to happen. But then... Monday happened.
This morning, Harden went on a tirade, calling Sixers GM Daryl Morey "a liar" and saying (twice) that he will "never be part of an organization that he's a part of," while on his China tour (where Morey is already, umm, less than popular).
James Harden: “Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of.”— Covers (@Covers) August 14, 2023
Things are getting shaky in Philadelphia. The 76ers’ win total is currently set at 50.5, they finished with 54 wins last season.
So it seems a Harden deal is definitely back on the board — and we’ll look at the revived NBA futures odds (again) for where his next destination will be.
James Harden's next team odds
|Los Angeles Clippers||-280|
|New York Knicks||+600|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+1,800|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+2,500|
Odds as of August 16, 2023
Best NBA bonuses
Looking to bet on some NBA action? Here are two of the best bonuses* available:
A) New users at BetMGM can get up to $1,000 in bonus bets if your first bet doesn’t win! Sign Up Now
B) New users can get up to $1,250 in bonus bets if your first bet doesn’t win at Caesars! Sign Up Now
*Eligible USA locations only. Also, check out our full list of best promo codes for 2023.
21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER
Favorites to acquire James Harden
Los Angeles Clippers (-280)
There’s enough smoke for a season’s worth of California wildfires emanating from Steve Ballmer and the Los Angeles Clippers, and Woj noted that the Clippers and New York Knicks would be the top two teams under consideration as James Harden’s next landing spot.
The Clippers have been on a perpetual hunt for a true point guard since Kawhi Leonard and Paul George teamed up, and Harden would provide the playmaking presence they’ve thought to long be lacking, although the Clips also brought back Russell Westbrook following a strong postseason showing.
The difficulty is the trade itself. If the Clippers are worried about PG declining, surely they’ll be even more frightened of adding Harden at 34, and outside of George, their tradeable assets are far from inspiring.
Philadelphia 76ers (+350)
Harden’s current team, the Philadelphia 76ers, are still the second favorite on the board, but this almost seems like it should be out-of-the-question.
Would it be shocking to see Morey continue to play hardball, given how he behaved during the Ben Simmons trade negotiations (which dragged on well into the regular season)?
Of course not, but no GM can have a player make comments like Harden just did and actually keep the player around... can they?
New York Knicks (+650)
Brunson is younger, plays the same position as Harden, and had a much stronger playoffs than “The Beard.”
Their fit as a backcourt pairing would be untenable on defense, and the Knicks are known to have their eye more on Harden’s MVP teammate, Joel Embiid. A Harden departure speeds up the timeline for a possible Embiid trade for the Knicks, but it's very unlikely New York pulls the trigger on Harden at the cost of those greater ambitions.
Miami Heat (+800)
The defending Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat have been trying to add another superstar this offseason, long being the favorite new landing spot for Portland guard Damian Lillard.
However, no major blockbuster has developed yet, so the Heat could logically shift their focus to Harden, who can operate both as a scoring guard or as the primary ballhandling point guard, considering the best option on the roster right now is declining veteran Kyle Lowry, who seems better suited for a reserve role at this stage in his career.
Nonetheless, the Heat are definitely in win-now mode, with a veteran-laden roster anchored by Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, while also needing to replace the departed Max Strus and Gabe Vincent.
Will James Harden play another game for the 76ers?
Odds as of August 16, 2023