In the latest twist of the NBA offseason, James Harden has exercised his $35.6 million player option with the Sixers. This means, unlike almost expectations, Harden will not test free agency. The news was somewhat expected, given the most recent reports of a positive meeting between Harden and new Sixers coach Nick Nurse. However, that's where things stop making sense.
Per Shams Charania, Harden has opted-in into his option year so that he and the Sixers can work out a trade to send him out of Philly. It's a bizarre turn of events after Harden was reportedly "pretty on board with everything that Nick Nurse was saying in terms of trying new ways to optimize him, trying new ways to kind of re-vamp or re-tool that Philadelphia 76ers offense."
Sixers To Trade Harden
The move comes about 25 hours before the start of free agency. It has been suggested that the move comes as a result of a muted free agency market for the 10-time all-star. Now, the Sixers will be able to work within the bounds of Harden's existing contract, while trying to find an equitable trade for the veteran player. Per additional reporting from Charaina, the Clippers are expected to emerge as suitors for Harden's services. However, it is still very much a developing story, so more teams could make themselves known in the coming days.
Earlier in the offseason, the Clippers were in line to acquire Malcolm Brogdon from the Celtics. However, that deal fell through over dubious medicals. Brogdon remains in Boston, with Marcus Smart heading to Memphis as part of a three-team trade to get Boston Kristaps Porziņģis. However, the Clippers do have the space to accommodate Harden. A trade including the likes of Marcus Morris and Normal Powell could work out for the two sides. Where do you think Harden will land? Let us know in the comments. Furthermore, this is a developing story and we'll have any updates here at HotNewHipHop.