Going off to a close finish in trading Harden, Clippers backed out due to exorbitant demands set by 76ers. This rocked what could’ve been a win for some bettors.
This unattainable asking price has deterred any other potential suitors from engaging in trade discussions. With a lack of viable deals on the table, the 76ers have hit a deadlock in their negotiations.
Odds changing dramatically
During the previous season, the 76ers clinched the #3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs with a record of 54-28. Their success was bolstered by center Joel Embiid’s inspiring performance, earning him his first MVP award.
The team managed to sweep the #6 Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the playoffs but faced elimination in a fierce seven-game clash against the #2 Boston Celtics during the Eastern Conference semifinals.
But as other teams are looking for additions to their superstars, 76ers are also finding better opportunities trading Harden.
Harden is a crowd favorite, but also leaves high odds
James’ performance in the playoffs left much to be desired, particularly during the pivotal Game 7. He struggled, scoring a mere seven points, including zero points in the second half, contributing to the 76ers’ playoff exit.
For now, Harden is sitting at a team odds of -280 move to Los Angeles Clippers, while at +350 to Philadelphia 76ers, as well as +650 to New York Knicks.
Sports analysts say that for now, Philadelphia 76ers and New York seem to be the only two teams Harden would choose. But for the Clippers, Leonard and George teaming up doesn’t suit Harden’s play. The Clips also brought back Russell Westbrook following a strong postseason showing.
This leaves a positive note to the Knicks, but trading for Harden would cost them at least three other great players. Still, Harden has had connections with Embiid, which could also lead the way to get Harden.
As the dust settled on the playoffs, the 76ers parted ways with head coach Doc Rivers, signaling a period of transition for the team. Rumors of a potential trade involving Embiid began circulating, with the New York Knicks purportedly in the lead.
Betting on Harden may be more of a miss than a hit
Despite Harden’s strong stance, his options are limited due to contractual restrictions. He cannot opt to sit out the upcoming season, as it would extend his contract to the next year. While Harden remains bound to the 76ers for now, there is a glimmer of hope that circumstances might change, leading to a potential trade in the future.
Fans and bettors alike are holding their breath, as the 76ers’ journey unfolds. With the championship drought stretching over four decades since Julius “Dr. J” Irving’s triumph in the 1983 NBA Finals, hope and anticipation are at an all-time high.
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