James Harden traded to the Clippers. Where do the 76ers go from here?

The 76ers have traded James Harden to the Clippers, but can they now replace him and keep Embiid happy in Philadelphia?
Oct 31, 2023 5:56 PM

James Harden has once again forced his way out of a franchise. The 76ers guard has been dealt to the Los Angeles Clippers after a summer of rumors and almost deals.

Clippers Receive- James Harden & PJ Tucker

76ers Receive- Robert Covington, Nic Batum, KJ Martin, Marcus Morris Sr. 2026,2028 First Round Picks, 2029 Pick Swap & two 2nd round picks

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline- USA TODAY Sports

This is a good return for Philadelphia, especially the addition of two first round draft picks but do they have enough to appease Joel Embiid, they now need to replace James Harden. They have the assets to do that, either closer to the trade deadline or next summer in free agency (they have max space) but who can they realistically target?

This past off-season was the time to sign a point guard/2nd star, with Kyrie Irving, Fred VanVleet & to a lesser extent, D'Angelo Russell, available but they have all now signed multi-year contracts with other teams. So who could the 76ers target in 2024?

Jrue Holiday is the clear and obvious target, but he was just moved to the Boston Celtics and they will almost definitely look to extend him. Outside of that there are limited options.

Photo Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

1. Markelle Fultz:

Fultz was picked no.1 overall by the 76ers back in 2017, but he had a bounce back season in 2023 after years of injury trouble, averaging 14 points, 5.7 assists & 1.5 steals across 60 games for the Orlando Magic.

He is still only 25 and if he really has put his injury plagued days behind him, he could be an option. The 76ers will likely be monitoring him this season but again, you would not classify him as an elite playmaker or 2nd star close to the level of a James Harden, but a move like this would be so Philadelphia.

2. Tyus Jones:

Jones was moved to the Washington Wizards this past off-season as part of the Kristaps Porzingis/Marcus Smart trade, and has made a strong start to the season. Averaging 13.7 points, 6.7 assists & shooting 44% from deep.

Not a star by any means, but he is efficient and can run an offense, enough to keep Embiid happy? Probably not but he is a good option, even for potential life after Embiid.

3. Pascal Siakam:

He is the star name of 2024 free agency, and while he is not a natural point guard, he is a very good playmaker and defender and is arguably the only player available that fits the mold of '2nd star' and is on a similar timeline in his career to that of Embiid.

Siakam was an All-Star last season, averaging 24.2 points, 7.8 rebounds & 5.8 assists. Maybe not the natural replacement for Harden but he does provide excellent playmaking from the wing position and is the star name available at this time.

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Outside of those 2024 free agents, it is very hard to know who may become available that the 76ers could pursue in terms of a trade. The ideal candidate will be a capable playmaker, who can create his own shot and hit the three ball efficiently. Easy right?

At this moment it is tough to see where the 76ers can go next to try and sustain their Championship pedigree with Joel Embiid. But they do still have the reigning MVP, Tyrese Maxey, who looks great to begin the season, a great head coach in Nick Nurse and they have just added a number of solid defensive, catch and shoot pieces to their team. Getting rid of James Harden was crucial to team moral and this season even having a chance to be prosperous!

The future may be uncertain but for now they still have a competitor and I wouldn't rule the 76ers out just yet!

PHOTO CREDIT: Eric Hartline- USA TODAY Sports