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James Harden trade to Sixers

The whole truth on James Harden trade to Philly

The whole truth of the James Harden trade to Philly

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Home » blog » basketball » NBA » The whole truth on James Harden trade to Philly

Estimated reading time: 12 minutes

The whole truth of the James Harden trade to Philly is about the NBA All-Star’s issues in Brooklyn after being traded to Philadelphia.

Tobias Harris still has the biggest contract on the team because he has more years than James has. Harden has the biggest salary though. He has the 2nd highest salary in the NBA behind only Steph Curry.

Brooklyn’s return on investment

The James Harden trade to the Brooklyn Nets was very short lived. I wrote that it wasn’t going to work the day after he was traded to the Nets.

Couple that with the fact that the backcourt of Kyrie Irving and James Harden just doesn’t work in theory or in practical practice. They’re both players that need to dominate the ball, especially Harden. If he isn’t doing this, he’s a liability on the floor.

More importantly, the perimeter defense of Irving, Harden and Joe Harris had the potential to be one of the worst ever and stats backed up this opinion.

The top two aspects to winning NBA championships are defense and ball protection. If you can’t do these well, how many points you score is irrelevant.

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What you don’t know about the James Harden trade

James Harden at Sixers practice.

James Harden wouldn’t work out at all with his Nets teammates over the summer. He then came into camp out of shape and the Nets players started to HATE how he played basketball.

Steve Nash and Kevin Durant wanted ball and player movement on offense, similar to the offense the Golden State Warriors ran with KD.

Of course James preferred iso ball (dominate the ball). Harden would roll his eyes when Nash designed plays for KD during timeouts.

This caused a rift between Durant and Harden around mid-December. Durant didn’t like James’ approach and Harden didn’t like how Kyrie received special treatment.

Towards the end, Harden was showing up to Nets games around half time and purposely not playing hard and then jumping on a plane to Houston or Vegas to hit the clubs and not making it back in time for the start of the following game, let alone the practices.

Reports state that Durant is pretty much in charge in Brooklyn and he was the one who made the phone call to get James Harden traded to the Sixers.

Part time participation

Issues between teammates and coaches forced a James Harden trade from Brooklyn.

James isn’t wrong or overreacting to Kyrie not playing full time. When an impactful player only plays in road games, this stops team chemistry from forming and that’s just for starters. It’s pretty obvious that many more issues could arise from this.

I wrote an article about this, stating that Brooklyn was making a mistake allowing Kyrie Irving back part time. The needed cohesion and that chemistry between teammates can’t be formed if an integral part of the team is now you see me, now you don’t.

I believe many fans were looking at it like one game on, one game off. This isn’t how it works though. NBA teams have homestands and then hit the road. The amount of games, they vary. Having a player for a week and then not having him, it impedes chemistry, team development and can be troublesome to moral. It was Rinse and repeat with the team on spin cycle.

After one more failed playoff run with Westbrook, Harden was done in Houston. He sulked and threw lazy passes until the Rockets traded him where he wanted to go to Brooklyn. When things got difficult there, Harden got wanderlust again chasing a new star in a new city.

– Zach Lowe, ESPN

Kyrie Irving-James Harden Beef

James Harden and Kyrie Irving with the Nets.

James Harden and Kyrie Irving had beef in Brooklyn, only about 8 miles from where the Biggie and TuPac beef started at Quad Studios.

Instead of a possible setup, robbery, and bullets flying, this beef was centered around sage incense and the head coach not being fair in Harden’s eyes.

At&T commercial, can't always get what you want, things aren't always fair.

James Harden didn’t want to play with Kyrie Irving. Because Kyrie Irving don’t get held accountable by Steve Nash when they in film rooms but James Harden does because Steve Nash was telling him that certain shots and certain looks wasn’t good looks but wasn’t telling the same thing to Kyrie Irving he just didn’t wanna be there. He didn’t want to be in that culture.

– Kendrick Perkins


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James Harden in his new Sixers uniforms.

If Kyrie is the reason that a James Harden trade to Philadelphia happened, what is his excuse? Is it that Irving wasn’t playing or because Nash yelled at him?

If “Uncle Drew” isn’t playing and Kevin Durant is out with injury, you’d think Harden could just throw up shots all day and not get reprimanded. In the end, he can spew all the words he wants about “team” or winning but the most important thing to him is scoring.

He’ll sacrifice everything that makes contenders champions for this.


Ballsack Sports

Stephen A. Smith and Kendrick Perkins both got fooled by the Satire NBA Twitter account, Ballsack Sports.

Ballsack Sports reported fake news about how Kyrie Irving would talk trash to James Harden at practice while the two were teammates in Brooklyn, calling him “washed up”.

The reason Stephen A. Smith, a respected Sports journalist and ESPN analyst convinced himself Kyrie Irving called James Harden washed up is because there is an actual Kyrie Irving-James Harden beef.

Something happened other than the new Philadelphia 76ers guard thinking Kyrie was crazy. Maybe he was giving off a “weird vibe”, burning incense in the locker room as reported in the Athletic story but its more personal than that. This much is clear.

Stephen A. Smith while on ESPN’s First Take was having a conversation with Earvin “Magic” Johnson about a possible role Irving played in having Harden shipped off to Philadelphia.

The truth is that Harden was going to be a problem if he wasn’t traded.

Ballsack Fake News Story: Kyrie beat James Harden 1 on 1 almost everyday in practice, and Kyrie was barely even in basketball shape. It demoralized Harden…the breaking point came when Kyrie called Harden “washed after completely locking him up in one scrimmage. An assistant had to break up the two as tempers flared, and the relationship spiraled downhill from there.

Stephen A. Smith: Especially when Kyrie looked him in the face according to reports and told him he was washed up. He said that to him. That’s part of the reason they had a falling out in Brooklyn.

Kevin Durant came out publicly and called out Stephen A, for falling for this fake news story.

The very same Kevin Durant as 2022 All-Star Game captain, passed on drafting Harden seven-times and explained how truly vital Rudy Gobert was to his squad.

Gobert and Harden were the last two players on the All-Star roster that hadn’t been selected.

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Washed away?

I don’t see James Harden as being washed up but he most definitely isn’t in his prime anymore. I wouldn’t want him on my team in his prime, so personally it doesn’t matter that he’s a little slower and more injury prone now.

Harden was brilliant offensively in the NBA and back in his Arizona State days before I knew what he was about, I liked the guy. I wasn’t going to buy a Harden jersey or anything but he looked like a future NBA star.

As recently as the 2019-2020 season, Harden was drawing 11.8 free throw attempts per game. He was averaging almost 15 more points-per-game than he is now too.

One thing is for certain James Harden has lost a step and that quick burst isn’t as quick anymore.

More Quotes

Around the same time, the Nets started losing games. Harden had seemed off all season both during games and with his comments after them and was growing frustrated with the situation in Brooklyn. He wanted everything catered to him the way it was in Houston, especially the offense. Kevin Durant and head coach Steve Nash disagreed. Both wanted the Nets offense to feature ball and player movement, and Harden, upon being rebuffed, ducked into his shell at times, according to sources, and even criticized teammates and coaches to NBA insiders sitting courtside at games. 

With James, if you’re not 100 percent on his side, you’re his enemy, former Rockets staffer said.

-Yaron Weitzman, Fox Sports

Daryl Morey Sixers GM?

Daryl Morey completed a James Harden trade right before the 2022 NBA trade deadline.

Daryl Morey isn’t the Sixers GM, he’s the President of Basketball Operations. OOPS. I think he’s either a moron or a double agent. The image above shows him in his Nets team colors. If he meant to make the Brooklyn Nets what they were supposed to be, he has succeeded and should win Executive-of-the-Year again. The trophy should read Daryl Morey-Brooklyn Nets-NBA Executive-of-the-Year-2023.

Someone has to Pay

Lessons in life.

I wrote last season that the Nets wouldn’t win an NBA championship by acquiring James Harden from the Houston Rockets.

Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks made a mistake and eventually recognized it. This doesn’t make Marks a great general manager, he should’ve known making a James Harden trade doesn’t bring any team closer to an NBA championship.


He lucked the F’ out because a year later he has a true contender, thanks to Daryl Morey. What would’ve stopped the Nets from winning the title was perimeter defense, interior size and rebounding.

Enter Ben Simmons and Andre Drummond. Problem solved. You couldn’t acquire two better players to fill these specific roles in the NBA today.

I was wrong in that I said Brooklyn would regret and pay for the reckless mistake of acquiring James Harden on January 14, 2021.

This didn’t happen, instead Marks found a bigger moron than himself and got rid of Harden for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two future first round picks. One in 2022 and the other, a protected pick in 2027. The Sixers also got a washed up Paul Millsap in return.

Many people are calling this a blockbuster trade at the trade deadline amongst these Atlantic Division rivals. I’m not one of those people, I call this “blockbuster” trade a “nightmare”.

Blake Griffin said he believed that Brooklyn won the trade deal. Those draft picks make Blake’s opinion very likely.


“Daryl Morey got hosed”

– Stephen A. Smith

James Harden Trade to Sixers

James Harden showing off his new Sixers jersey.

The James Harden trade to the Philadelphia 76ers happened. It’s real, it wasn’t a nightmare or at least I haven’t woken up yet.

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James Harden imagining maximizing offensive possessions to maximize scoring opportunities.

What I wrote about Harden having to dominate the ball or he’s a liability, it’s accurate. Sixers fans might not want to hear this but I’m a realist and this will piss some people off. TOO BAD, GO CONVINCE YOURSELF I’M WRONG, WHILE YOU STILL CAN.

Before the James Harden trade, he was shooting 41.4 percent from the floor and 33.2 % from behind the three point line.

James is horrible off the ball. After he gives it up, he just stands there like the possession is over. You won’t see him cutting or even attempting to get open. That’s if he doesn’t literally just stand there.

Harden isn’t a spot up shooter either. Joel Embiid is a center that might need to kick the ball back out to the perimeter when the opponent doubles down, James Harden is only shooting 30% on catch and shoot attempts.

When he takes 1-2 dribbles this climbs to 35.1% and with 3-6 dribbles, James shoots at 37.7% beyond the arc.

This comes back to the need to dominate the ball. A great center like Embiid is much more efficient when he receives the ball where he likes it. When James Harden is dancing with the ball, this could prove very difficult for the MVP candidate center to establish position on the blocks.

Don’t forget there are big strong men trying to knock Joel off of where he wants the ball. Given enough time, that’s exactly what will happen.


James Harden gives up on plays and shows a lack of effort. His defensive awareness is worse than his man-to-man defense.

Anyone with a stat that tells you James Harden is a good defender based on defensive ratings, I say put the stats down and USE YOUR EYEBALLS. THAT’S WHAT THEY’RE FOR.

Not good in terms of lateral quickness and his laziness is insulting to his coaches and teammates. When he does some of the things he does, I lose respect for the head coach that doesn’t bench him immediately.


The Sixers won’t have much time left in the regular season to form chemistry before the NBA Playoffs get underway on April 16.

Doc Rivers won’t have the perimeter defense that he’d like either.

Last line of defense

Here is a reenactment of James Harden playing defense.

Stop and defend

Think that’s corny, too much or maybe I’m just being a smart-ass?

I ask you to examine exhibits 1-4 below. Now, what’s the difference from the image above and exhibit 1 below?

James Harden is a bad defender
James Harden isn't a good defender
Letting the man blow by you on defense

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02/18/2024 04:08 pm GMT

Assist-to-Turnover Ratio

As I mentioned before the top two aspects of winning an NBA championship are defense and ball protection, if you can’t do these well, how many points you score is irrelevant.

James Harden is averaging 10.2 assists-per-game. His assist to turnover ratio is 2.10.

James Harden committed the most turnovers all-time (464) in a season in 2016-17. He’s led the NBA in turnovers six-times during his career.

That 464 turnovers, the most all-time is the most all-time based on average too (5.7).


“The Beard” having that many assists really only means he turns the ball over that much more.

I wrote this about Russell Westbrook when the Lakers acquired him. Stating that the move was reckless and the Lakers wouldn’t be realistic contenders because of it.

Months later some people want to tell me that everyone knew this was a bad move. NONSENSE. Everyone thought the Lakers were a can’t miss NBA Finals participant because of this trade.

Remember Lakers vs. Nets: 2022 NBA Finals. Neither team was making the Finals this season. The Nets should contend in the future but they had no chance with Harden.


The James Harden trade won’t stop his issues. He creates difficulty causing disorder, now you got trouble because James Harden is a problem.

James Harden is a player who needs the ball almost all the time, if he isn’t controlling the ball, he’s a liability on the court. 

James Harden wanted Dwight Howard, then that didn’t work.

Then he wanted Chris Paul, that didn’t work either. Who has a problem with playing as one of Chris Paul’s teammates?

CP3 is going to be a first ballot hall-of-famer, his greatest skill is his passing abilityHe gives the ball to his teammates, first and foremost. James Harden is a ridiculous man, from his wardrobe to his defense.

Finally Harden was sure he wanted Russell Westbrook, all day, all the way, until he didn’t anymore. After Westbrook, Harden didn’t want the Rockets anymore.

Then he wanted the Nets, where he couldn’t get along with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving or Steve Nash. Now he wants Philly, yeah OK, sure thing bub. CHAOS & DISORDER.



“I’m concerned for my Sixers”.
-Charles barkley

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I provide highly opinionated sports articles. Most of these are featured articles. They will likely differ from the thoughts, stories and ideas, recycled by TV, radio, etc.

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