I’m Going To Attempt To Defend The Clippers On The James Harden Trade
*Warning* The following message comes from a place of playing devil’s advocate. I would not have traded for James Harden. If I ran the Clippers, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Russell Westbrook would never play for the franchise again. They would all be sold off to the highest bidder and this entire team would begin the rebuilding process.
Now that we got that out of the way, I’m going to attempt to defend the James Harden trade. The rest of the media is blasting the Clippers for trading for the Beard. While I would have tanked this roster, this deal is not nearly as bad for LA as analysts want to portray.
In fact… it’s hard to deny that this doesn’t make them better.
In fact… I actually don’t blame them for making the trade at all.
A: What did the Clippers really give up? If you’re a Clippers fan who’s upset about this trade, you probably shouldn’t be. Garrett did the post breaking down the details of the trade. What did Philly really get? One unprotected first and two seconds? The draft is a total crapshoot and odds are Philly gets maybe one rotation player out of that. Is that really going to keep you up at night?
B: The bottom line is, the Clippers dumped a lot of junk in this trade. We can talk about giving up some draft picks. In reality, the Clippers probably would have needed to attach draft picks just to get rid of some of the contracts they got rid of in this deal.
Does anyone remember the first version of the Kristaps Porzingis deal? Malcolm Brogdon is a broken asset and the Clippers had to give up a first rounder just to dump Marcus Morris in that deal.
The Clippers got rid of Morris, Nic Batum, and Robert Covington. Three guys that totally blow and are considered negative assets. All three getting paid significantly more money than they deserve. Again, it probably would have cost them more in draft assets to get rid of each one in a salary dump. Instead, they got Harden out of it. I fail to see how that’s a loss.
C: The Clippers are moving into a new arena. That may not matter to you but it matters to them. They need excitement and they need to sell tickets. Like it or not, Harden has a fan base. Like it or not, Harden is a future Hall of Famer. Like it or not, Harden makes them better.
If this team is going to pretend to compete, they need to do things to improve the team. If Harden is your third guy, you’re doing okay from a talent standpoint. Harden has never been the third best player on a team. It’s just another star to take the pressure off Kawhi and PG. When one inevitably misses time, Harden will be there to pick up the scoring load. Frankly, this team wasn’t good enough to even compete for a Conference Finals spot without him. Now they might be.
Kick and scream all you want but everyone should understand why the Clippers made this deal. Harden might be a quitter but that might be viewed as a positive over watching Robert Covington do whatever he does, which is nothing but suck. Just saying…
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