Grade the Trade: 76ers get unexpected proposed package for James Harden

James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers - Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers - Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
4 of 4
James Harden – Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

Why this return package is lacking for the 76ers

That being said, the framework of this deal is not without its imperfections. Assuming that the Nets decline to even put such offer on the table for Harden, who has already forced his way out of Brooklyn, there are also bona fide reasons for the 76ers potentially rejecting the same.

First, while Dinwiddie is on an expiring contract and will come off the books next season, Finney-Smith is another story. While certainly not overpaid, the 3-and-D forward is signed through 2026, including a player option on his final year. That could hamper the team’s financial leeway for next year which stands to be more robust then ever before.

Second, having Dinwiddie and Thomas as the cornerstones of this deal only ameliorate the team on the surface-level. With Maxey expected to have a bigger role, surrounding him with players with overlapping skill sets may not be the way to truly maximize his talent. That is also the case with Embiid, who has always benefited more from having a natural — not ancillary —playmaker as a table setter.

Lastly, the 2025 first-round pick from Phoenix will almost certainly be in the high 20’s considering the Suns’ emphatic win-now conviction with their mighty Big Three. If the main intent to trade Harden even for less is to accrue draft capital, another team should be able to provide a more certain asset to that cause.

Next. New NBA rule could force feed another awful situation to the 76ers. dark

Ultimately, given how dry the market is right now, this trade proposal actually gives the Philadelphia 76ers quite the tenable framework on how they can extract the most value out of James Harden all things considered. If this offer truly materializes, it should definitely be among the top ones on their whiteboard.

Grade: A-