The Philadelphia 76ers and Houston Rockets have long been regarded as the Sixers’ and Houston Rockets’ only viable free agent suitors for Sixers star guard James Harden. According to recent sources, Harden is increasingly likely to re-sign in Philadelphia now that the Rockets are “out of the running.” According to The Athletic’s Kelly Iko, a new dark horse suitor for Harden has arisen in the Los Angeles Clippers:
“Another team that I’ve heard recently is a dark horse, and kind of watching the situation is the Los Angeles Clippers,” Iko said.
Following the report of Harden’s possible arrival in Los Angeles, NBA fans had some fun with the news on Twitter. Many joked that the Clippers were looking for another injury-prone player to join talents Kawhi Leonard and Paul George:
“The injury-prone team gains another member,” one fan said.
Meanwhile, other fans questioned whether Harden joining the Clippers was even a viable option given the team’s lack of cap space:
“Bro, he’s not signing a minimum,” one fan said.
“They have no cap room so would need to be a sign and trade. Gimme PG or Kawhi and it’s done!” another said.
Here are some more of the most popular fan comments to the Los Angeles Clippers being called a dark horse candidate to sign James Harden:
James Harden still undecided on player option with Sixers
Despite numerous reports to the contrary, James Harden has yet to decline his $35.6 million player option for next season. Harden now has only one day to make a choice because the deadline for accepting or declining his option is Thursday. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Harden is anticipated to wait until the last minute to make his selection since it provides him more leverage:
“I think for James Harden, he’ll take it down to the wire over the next 24 hours,” Wojnarowski said.
“If you’re James Harden and you get into free agency, you want to know that you’re going to get a quick resolution with the Sixers. Because the longer it drags out, money dries out elsewhere, you lose leverage.”
According to Wojnarowski, the 76ers are still undecided on how lengthy a contract to offer Harden if he becomes a free agent:
“Now, that $35 million option. If he opts into that, he could be traded. The Sixers then (could say) ‘You’re under contract, you could be moved.’”
If Harden exercises his player option and becomes available for trade, the NBA landscape might change dramatically. In that situation, the potential of the experienced star being acquired by the Los Angeles Clippers or another contender becomes as a serious possibility.