Philadelphia ships off Harden in "blockbuster" trade
James Harden is going back to Cali.
Driving the news: The 76ers offloaded the disgruntled guard in what ESPN called a "blockbuster" trade with the Los Angeles Clippers.
- The Clips also got P.J. Tucker and Filip Petrusev in return for veterans Marcus Morris, Robert Covington, Nic Batum and KJ Martin, plus two first-round draft picks and several other future picks.
Why it matters: The Harden soap opera is over and the Sixers can focus on playing basketball.
Flashback: The teams had been trying to complete a deal since Harden said he wanted out of Philly this summer after opting into a $35.6 million player option.
- Harden then called 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey a "liar" during a promotional tour in China and later claimed their relationship was irreparable.
- He hasn't played yet this season and was in street clothes for the Sixers' home opener against Portland.
What they're saying: CBS Sports' Sam Quinn gave the Sixers high marks in the trade, writing they're still the third-best team in the Eastern Conference even without Harden.
- "This version of the 76ers [was] never going to win a championship," he wrote.
The bottom line: Harden lost most of the Philadelphia faithful with how he handled his exit.
- One local columnist suggested Harden was as "valuable as a 20-year-old jock strap" and that the team was better off paying him to stay away.
What we're watching: Without the ball-dominant Harden around, the Sixers hope guard Tyrese Maxey blossoms into a star.
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