The James Harden saga in Philadelphia is seemingly never-ending.
The Sixers guard is hoping to be traded before the start of the season, but Philadelphia doesn’t appear to be too keen on that.
The Los Angeles Clippers are the preferred destination for Harden, but a few other teams could still be in the mix for the star guard.
NBA Insider Howard Beck joined Elliot Shorr-Parks on Audacy’s original podcast “Clap Your Hands” and speculated which “three or four teams” could have interest in trading for Harden.
“I don’t know who the teams are, I’m told there are three or four teams counting the Clippers that would have some interest,” Beck said (10:30 in player above). “I try to scratch out my best guesses as to who might make a run at him. It’s not that great a list.”
At this point in the offseason, most teams are locked and loaded as they prepare for training camp. The options for Harden are dwindling.
“You have to rule out a bunch of teams,” Beck said. “There are a bunch of lottery teams that have no use for a 34-year-old James Harden. There are rebuilding teams and mid-level teams where he’s just not going to push them forward enough. There are teams that just don’t need another ball-dominant guard.”
However, Beck threw out a few options that could make sense to trade for Harden, including a reunion in Brooklyn.
“I wonder if Brooklyn would go down that path again. That’s just thinking out loud,” he said. “He left because Kyrie was driving him crazy and there were other issues there too, but the Nets want to win right now.”
Beck pointed out that the Nets could’ve parlayed some of their guys into something else or taken a step back, but they decided to keep it together.
“Harden plus the guys they have might be kind of interesting,” he continued. “I’m not saying it’s a likely scenario.”
“Harden and Ben Simmons coming into Philadelphia would be quite the matchup, to say the least,” Shorr-Parks cracked.
There are only a few other teams that have a need for someone like Harden at this point.
“Miami, if they miss out on Dame Lillard, is an obvious one to factor in,” Beck said. “The Bulls are going to be missing Lonzo Ball for yet another season and that’s a team that doesn’t seem to care about the future at all. They’re all just about trying to tread water and be decent right now and they keep doubling down on the group they have.”
While the Clippers are still the most obvious landing spot for Harden if the Sixers trade him, don’t rule out a mystery team swooping in if the price is right.