NBA Draft

James Harden Trade Talks, Joel Embiid, PJ Tucker, Rudy Gay

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As the James Harden trade request hovers over the Philadelphia 76ers – including a Yahoo Sports report that he’s expected to report to training camp while still seeking a move to the Los Angeles Clippers and a recent cryptic Instagram story post – it could have dominoes on the futures of two of his frontcourt teammates.

PJ Tucker, Harden’s longtime teammate with the Rockets and Sixers, has come up in trade discussions between the 76ers and Clippers, league sources told HoopsHype. The Clippers covet Tucker’s ability to guard multiple positions and defend the league’s top opposing scorers. Tucker is owed $11 million this upcoming year and has a $11.54 million player option for the 2024-25 season.

It’s worth noting Harden previously took less money to give Philadelphia added financial flexibility to pry Tucker away from the Heat in free agency in July of 2022. When Harden did so, many around the league assumed Sixers executive Daryl Morey – who’s previously been Harden’s biggest advocate – would take care of his star player financially down the line, which hasn’t happened. Current negotiations have since led to a “fractured” relationship between Harden and Morey, per Shams Charania.

Meanwhile, teams around the league – especially the New York Knicks – are monitoring how the Harden saga plays out in Philadelphia and will affect the happiness of MVP Joel Embiid. The Knicks have long admired Embiid and have significant draft capital to dangle. Embiid’s former agent was Leon Rose, who now leads New York’s front office.

Should Embiid ever demand a trade, it’s worth noting the Miami Heat has one of his good friends, Jimmy Butler, and a potentially intriguing trade chip in All-Star center Bam Adebayo to dangle, in theory.

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