Replacing Harden with VanVleet and 4 other wild moves 76ers should try this summer

Philadelphia 76ers, James Harden. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Philadelphia 76ers, James Harden. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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The Philadelphia 76ers are waiting to see what James Harden does this summer. He is expected to decline his $35.6 million player option and become an unrestricted free agent. Fans have heard the rumors of his desire to return to the Rockets, but is Harden willing to give up a chance at contention to head back to Houston?

Harden leaving throws a wrench into the Sixers’ title contention plans. Can Philadelphia stay in the picture without the ten-time All-Star? Reigning MVP Joel Embiid will be back and president Daryl Morey will have to get creative in building around him.

What can the 76ers do to improve their roster this summer? Even with Harden off the books, they would have less than $10 million in cap space. Philadelphia won’t be massive players in free agency, but Morey could get creative to keep the Sixers in the hunt.

Wild moves the Philadelphia 76ers should try this summer

5. Acquire Chris Paul

The Suns appear ready to move on (subscription required) from Chris Paul. They are exploring their options ahead of a June 28 guarantee in his contract, but it sounds like everything is on the table, including waiving CP3 and letting him become an unrestricted free agent.

If James Harden is headed somewhere else, the 76ers should be looking to acquire Paul, especially if comes on a discount contract. The 38-year-old is on the decline, but he still averaged 13.9 points, 8.9 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.5 steals in 32.0 minutes per game last season.

CP3 is a basketball genius that would have no issues setting Joel Embiid and the rest of the roster up for easy buckets. He is comfortable playing off the ball and could open things up for Philly.

The Philadelphia 76ers should explore acquiring Chris Paul both via trade and free agency. The 38-year-old may be willing to sign a cheaper contract to play next to the reigning MVP if he gets waived or the Sixers could try to deal for him. Acquiring a 12-time All-Star is never easy and certainly counts as a wild move.