James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers
James Harden #1 of the Philadelphia 76ers in Game Six of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals at Wells Fargo Center on May 12, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images


  • James Harden has been tipped for a Philadelphia 76ers departure
  • The Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks have been noted as trade destinations
  • The Sixers may be forced to settle for depth pieces instead of an All-Star return

The Philadelphia 76ers face a dilemma this offseason after multi-time All-Star James Harden has called it quits on the team and is believed to be working his way on being traded elsewhere.

ESPN's NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski shared the development via social media.

Though Harden has elected to exercise his $35.6 million player option, "[i]t's expected that Harden has played his last game for Philadelphia."

Wojnarowski later added that the Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks are two teams interested in going after Harden.

Harden has been a vital piece of the Sixers' machine as he and Joel Embiid served as the faces of the offense, with then-head coach Doc Rivers guiding them the whole way through–a partnership that was, for most of the time, solid, but fell apart when it needed to.

For the better part of one and a half seasons, Harden took a massive step back in terms of his role with the Sixers as his main job now was to run the offense and it certainly appeared to be something that he enjoyed doing, leading the league in assists with 10.7 per game for only the second time in his career.

Moreover, he also only played in 58 out of the possible 82 games, further shining the spotlight in how important he was to their offense while playing decent defense along the way.

It cannot be denied however that Harden has certainly looked a step slower in his short Sixers run as his hamstring issues flared up once again in the 2022-23 regular season, while he had an issue with his Achilles slowing him down in the postseason that became highly evident in their seven-game collapse at the hands of the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.

While the Sixers are on the lookout for a trade partner for Harden that would suit his championship-aspiring needs, it certainly is a devastating blow to the Sixers and league MVP Embiid.

Losing Harden would mean that third-year guard Tyrese Maxey will be asked to run the point and though he surely has benefitted from Harden's presence on the floor, the Sixers' front office, led by Daryl Morrey, knows they need someone to replace Maxey in the shooting guard spot.

If the link to the Clippers and Knicks is certainly alive, it can be expected that the Rockets would want either of the former's two stars in Paul George or Kawhi Leonard in return while the latter will likely be asking for RJ Barrett or Josh hart as the centerpiece.

However, the scenario that is most likely to happen is that the Sixers trade Harden for depth pieces–possibly for the Clippers' Norman Powell and Marcus Morris or the Knicks' Quentin Grimes and Obi Toppin.

The Sixers are on mighty thin ice and the team knows it and how it all plays out will be another storyline for fans to follow this offseason.

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
#21 Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers surrounded by Boston Celtics players. 76ers France/Twitter