Another year, another trade request from James Harden. ‘The Beard’ opted into his $35.6 million player option for next season and wants out of Philly. It feels like the the Los Angeles Clippers are the frontrunner to land him, but are they a serious threat if they do? I believe they are.
Ever since the Clippers have tried the Paul George and Kawhi Leonard experiment, they have come up short. Mainly due to injuries, but they have never had a good, reliable playmaker or someone to keep them afloat when their superstars miss games. They tried John Wall and it didn’t work out. Reggie Jackson was probably the best, but he wasn’t the answer. Russell Westbrook was serviceable and showed flashes of the old days against the Suns in the playoffs but it wasn’t enough.
Since Harden’s departure from Houston, some people have been down on him not being the same player because he doesn’t put up 50 on a nightly basis. He can still go out and get 20 or more points per night and he is an incredible playmaker when he has other players around him looking to score and be aggressive offensively. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard fit that description if they are healthy. After the Denver Nuggets (and maybe the Warriors and Suns) I would imagine the Clippers would have the best odds to win the Western Conference.