Los Angeles Lakers grade for James Harden trade: D+
Some fans might be confused as to why this grade is so low. Others might be confused as to why it isn’t an F. As previously stated, Harden is extremely polarizing and that has created split reactions around the idea of the Lake Show trading for Harden.
On paper, this is a good price for a former MVP. 76ers fans will say it is not enough but this price is similar to what the Dallas Mavericks traded for Kyrie Irving last season. Harden is in a very similar place value-wise as Kyrie was a year ago.
If the Lakers win a title with this trade then it instantly becomes an A. As solid as Rui Hachimura is and as promising as Jalen Hood-Schifino is, the Lakers can win a title without them. But the problem is how unlikely that would probably be.
Harden would bring a lot of the same problems as Westbrook did with some added three-point shooting. He cannot defend, has not been known for buying into different systems and has struggled in the playoffs. Really, at this point in his career, is there that big of a difference between he and D’Angelo Russell, who also felt unplayable in the playoffs?
It would take a completely reinvented Harden for this to work. The Lakers are better off trading Russell (who definitely will be shopped at the deadline) for someone else.
Philadelphia 76ers grade for James Harden trade: C-
This is a decent trade return for someone who does not have much value and is being traded for because of his namesake. This would not be exactly what the Philadelphia 76ers want in a Harden trade but at some point, a team is only going to get what it will get.
It will be interesting to see how Morey and the 76ers handle this situation. Morey got his way with Ben Simmons and was able to get Harden because of it. Can he strike lightning in a bottle twice? Or is he going to be forced to take a package with role players like this theoretical one with the Lakers?