A blockbuster trade proposal has the Philadelphia 76ers dealing James Harden to one of their top competitors in the Eastern Conference.
Last week, the 2018 league MVP opted into his $35.6 million option for 2023-24 as a way to help the 76ers facilitate a trade. More than a week after free agency opened, Harden remains a member of the 76ers roster.
At NBA Analysis Network, James Piercey has proposed a blockbuster trade that would see the 76ers trade the future Hall of Famer to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for fellow standout guard Jrue Holiday:
“If there is one big man in the NBA who can score as well as (Joel) Embiid can in the NBA, there can’t be two. In terms of his offensive skills, he is an elite player.
Tyrese Maxey is also developing into a player of this caliber. As a matter of fact, his ability to create with the ball could replace a lot of what Harden has to offer. There is a possibility that both of these stars would be better suited to being paired up with a player who is more willing to work off of the ball than on it.
In addition, it would be even better if that player was an elite defender at the point of attack. To put it another way, a player who is exactly like Jrue Holiday would be ideal. Regardless of the fact that acquiring him means Harden will play with the enemy in order to acquire him.”
Late in the 2020-21 season, the Bucks handed Holiday a massive four-year contract extension worth up to $160 million. Though he’s not as potent of a scorer as Harden, Holiday is a better passer who would immediately help the 76ers win now.
The Bucks, two years removed from an NBA Championship, already have two stars in Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. Holiday has been a grade-A fit in Milwaukee, but there’s a case to be made that Harden would be a better fit as they try to build a dynasty.
If Harden ends up getting traded before the 2023-24 season, he’ll be on his fourth team in as many years. He was acquired by the 76ers in a 2022 blockbuster trade that sent 2016 first-overall pick Ben Simmons to the Brooklyn Nets.
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