Grade the Trade: HH pitches riveting three-team James Harden trade for the 76ers

James Harden (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
James Harden (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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Tobias Harris, Norman Powell – Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports /

Does this trade proposal give the 76ers an ideal return package for James Harden?

At this point, the 76ers should have already acknowledged the fact that they have complete leverage over James Harden, the latter having opted into the last year of his deal and not really having a choice but to play wherever he’s rostered at the time the season begins.

Philadelphia’s win-now ilk actually gives them backing to hold onto Harden, but it would be unwise for asset management for reasons mentioned a while ago. Hence, capitalizing on his still-lofty value will give them much more flexibility even in the face of a potentially subtle drop-off.

Terance Mann, whom the Clippers have been unwilling to package in trades since last year, is a solid young piece to pair with Tyrese Maxey, whom the 76ers have similarly deemed untouchable in deals.

Meanwhile, Powell is an above-average defender who can guard three positions and score at all three levels with high volume when needed. Hardaway Jr.’s contract is good for two more years, but he’s a serviceable gunner who can easily be flipped for assets in the next offseason.

Still, the most attractive part of this package for Philly is the two first-rounders they can get from Dallas and LA, with the latter sweetening the pot with three second-rounders. This will give the franchise some much-needed cushion to either retain for the future or to re-route if they want to chase a bigger name later on.