Embarrassing stinker proves 76ers made right call with controversial trade

James Harden’s stinker last night proves the Philadelphia 76ers made the right call with their controversial trade.
76ers, Tyrese Maxey
76ers, Tyrese Maxey / Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of eyes were tuned in last night with the Philadelphia 76ers meeting the LA Clippers for the first time this season. The contest between both teams had strong playoff seeding implications, but that was far from the overarching narrative surrounding the highly anticipated matchup.

The week kicked off with a lot of drama as the 76ers tussled with James Harden and the Clippers, a glaring first for a team and a superstar whose divorce was as rough as it could be. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably already know that Philly sent the former MVP to LA in an early blockbuster trade this season.

Embarrassing James Harden stinker proves the 76ers made the right call with their controversial trade

Unfortunately for Harden, Philadelphia, while undermanned, came out swinging on the road to spoil his vendetta on the franchise, winning 121-107 in a wire-to-wire dub. The win pushed the 76ers to just a half-game behind the sixth-seeded Pacers for the final guaranteed playoff spot in the East.

Meanwhile, the Clippers got a stinker from Harden, who finished the game with 12 meager points and 14 assists on five of 13 shooting as he missed all of his six three-point attempts. His -16 +/- was also the second-worst mark on either teams.

If it’s not yet apparent at this juncture, the 76ers clearly made the right call by trading the 10-time All-Star early on. He’s shown clear signs of decline this season, and had Philly’s brass remained adamant about getting best offer possible for him — which was very unlikely given their unrealistic asking price — Tyrese Maxey’s development would have most likely been stunted by the ball-dominant guard.

At this critical juncture where the 76ers can look forward to the present and the near future, there’s little reason to keep barking at what went wrong between Harden and the franchise. One thing’s abundantly clear though — the team ultimately did the right thing, in both hindsight and foresight.

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