You gotta love the NBA scoop wars between ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania of The Athletic/Stadium. How appropriate that the waking nightmare of James Harden’s latest team hostage-holding situation carried over into the early hours of Halloween.
Not only were Woj and Shams sweating it out once their phones were blown up with NBA sources at around 2 a.m. ET, but Harden is an arrogant, entitled phony who doesn’t even need to dress up in a costume for the holiday.
Look at these elite NBA insiders squabbling over scraps of intel on The Beard’s fourthtradesince 2021, this time from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Los Angeles Clippers.
BREAKING: The Philadelphia 76ers have agreed on a trade to send guard James Harden to the Los Angeles Clippers, sources tell ESPN. pic.twitter.com/wAyuJKMfAw
We can officially label this a Woj Bomb! He beat Shams to the initial scoop, and when Shams tried to come over the top with the trade package, Woj got him by a single minute! WHEW.
BREAKING: The Philadelphia 76ers are trading James Harden and PJ Tucker to the Los Angeles Clippers for Nicolas Batum, Marcus Morris, Robert Covington and KJ Martin, and draft picks, sources tell @TheAthletic@Stadium. pic.twitter.com/4gwGJgrYUb
The Sixers are acquiring Marcus Morris, Nic Batum, Robert Covington, KJ Martin, multiple draft picks and a pick swap for James Harden, PJ Tucker and Filip Petrusev, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/fSOkgO5xd3
…Until Woj tacked on a couple more details to get another edge on his rival. Will also attach Shams’ story below.
Further trade details: The Clippers are sending a 2027 first-round pick swap to Oklahoma City, clearing way for OKC to move a protected 2026 first-round pick to the 76ers, sources said. The Clippers are sending a 2024 and a 2029 second-round pick to the Sixers in the deal too,… https://t.co/IlIGoEa9Fm
These are like two heavyweight fighters throwing haymakers at each other. Shams was decked to the canvas on the initial Harden trade break, but did an admirable job playing catch-up to make the final scorecard closer.
I’m more partial to Shams than Woj in terms of personality and so forth. Maybe it’s just because Shams is younger and has wooed Kay Adams without even a suggestion of effort in doing so. Or maybe it’s because Woj has the most unorthodox, randomly-pausing speech cadence I’ve ever seen from any power player in the sports industry.
I wrote recently on Woj’s report about the Clippers cooling off on Harden. The Sixers told him not to even bother reporting to the team for their first few games of the new season. How soon things change, eh?
Philadelphia GM Daryl Morey was holding out for the best package possible consequences be damned, and well, looks like Morey got a bit of a scrapheap of players in the end. For someone who’s as damaged of an asset as Harden is, though, it’s quite the maneuver on Morey’s part to at least pull something off and get two premium draft assets. LA has basically lost all its wing depth, too, outside of oft-injured stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
But yo… Halloween is the trade deadline in the NFL. We weren’t supposed to get a blockbuster NBA trade at this time! Of course Schefty was up at 4 a.m. to acknowledge the bomb by his four-letter network colleague:
PS I love that this graphic of James Harden from Woj’s breaking news X post cuts off at his head. Gives me real headless horseman/Sleepy Hollow vibes.
Fitting for the Halloween spirit — and also apropos in the sense that Harden pretty much uses zero brainpower when deciding the next moves for his career. He seems to think getting out of shape, whining your way out of a city and quitting on your teammates is the proper way to conduct oneself.
However Philly’s new players are utilized, Harden’s departure from the 76ers is more addition by subtraction for the organization. Joel Embiid will no longer have his admirable patience wearing even thinner by answering questions about Harden’s nonsense. Plus, this opens up Tyrese Maxey to emerge as the Sixers’ second superstar. Maxey seems like the anti-Harden and that’s meant as the highest compliment.
So uhh…hey Clippers! Good luck with James Harden. With The Beard and Kawhi as two of your key team leaders, I can’t imagine how that could go wrong! Clips owner Steve Ballmer will of course be way over-excited about this, only to likely see Los Angeles bow out in the second round of the playoffs or thereabouts once again.
I guess part of me is rooting for the Harden-Russell Westbrook reunion from their shared beginning in Oklahoma City to finally net them a championship.
Harden — Russ — 16.9 PPG 21.8 PPG 4.0 RPG 7.3 RPG 3.4 APG 5.4 APG 45/36/85% 45/28/81%