NBA Trade Rumors: James Harden to LA Clippers dream may be dead

James Harden (Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports)
James Harden (Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports) /

NBA Trade Rumors: The James Harden to LA Clippers dream may be dead. 

All offseason long, there have been two main storylines that dominated the summer. The first was Damian Lillard wanted to force a trade to the Miami Heat. In the end, Lillard didn’t get his way and was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks instead of Miami. The other major storyline involved James Harden trying to force his way out of the Philadelphia 76ers, preferably to the LA Clippers.

At least for now, that’s also something that hasn’t come to full fruition. But with the start of the NBA regular season here, you can’t help but wonder what happens next in the Harden trade saga.

For now, Harden has reported back to the team but is not currently with the Sixers as they begin a two-game road trip to open the season. Instead, Harden stayed back in Philly as he continues to ramp up his likely eventually full return to the team.

Harden has said he intends to play basketball this season, but until he actually checks into a game for the Sixers, I’m still a bit bullish on that.

However, the way things have trended recently, it seems that if Harden wants to play basketball this season, it may have to be with the Sixers. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Clippers have made the conscious decision to “step away” from Harden trade talks with the Sixers.

What could push a James Harden trade across the finish line?

It’s unclear to know for sure if this means the Harden to Clippers trade dream is dead, but it’s not looking good. It would make sense for the Clippers to make this move. The season has begun and they want to focus on the players that are in the locker room, not players that may or may not be in the future.

At this point, you’d have to imagine that something would have to happen for Harden trade talks to heat up again. With the Clippers stepping away, that means the Harden trade market is pretty much nonexistent at the moment.

But a key injury to a contender or even the Clippers could be exactly what is needed to get to a Harden resolution.

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Banking on that to happen would be quite foolish, however. The ball is back in Harden’s court. With no trade on the horizon, it seems like he’ll have to at least start the season with the Sixers. After what transpired at the beginning and all throughout the offseason, this is truly hard to imagine.