May 11, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden (1) shoots against the Boston Celtics during the first quarter in game six of the 2023 NBA playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

NBA fans woke up to a treat — or trick, depending your favorite team — on Halloween with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reporting that the Los Angeles Clippers have completed a blockbuster trade to acquire former MVP James Harden from the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Clippers’ acquisition of Harden marks the end of a four-month saga, which began when the 10-time All-Star made the surprising decision to opt into his contract rather than test free agency. In opting in, however, the 34-year-old guard also requested a trade and became embroiled in a public feud with 76ers general manager Daryl Morey.

“Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of,” Harden said during an Adidas promotional appearance in China this past August. “Let me say that again: Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of.”

Harden’s trade request lingered into training camp, which the Arizona State product was absent for a significant part of. He returned to the team ahead of the start of the regular season last week, but had yet to participate in a game prior to the trade.

According to Wojnarowski, in addition to Harden, the Clippers are also acquiring forwards P.J. Tucker and Filip Petrusev from Philadelphia. In return, the 76ers will acquire Marcus Morris, Robert Covington, Nic Batum, Kenyon Martin Jr., a 2028 unprotected first-round pick, two second-round picks, a 2029 pick swap and an additional first-round pick that’ll be sent from a third team.

The 2018 NBA MVP, Harden joins a Clippers roster that currently includes star forwards Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, as well as 2017 NBA MVP Russell Westbrook, who he played alongside during their time together with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets. Through its first three games of the 2023-24 campaign, Los Angeles is 2-1.

After waking up to the news of the NBA’s latest blockbuster trade, many were quick to take to social media to weigh in.



About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.