— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 10, 2022
This trade package shakes up both teams and all of the Eastern Conference.
In many ways, the deal was good for both sides.
However, Philadelphia fans are now thinking they are immediately in the running to win the entire NBA season after attaining Harden.
Are they right and are the 76ers now a favorite to make it to the NBA Finals and even win it all?
Maybe, but don’t put all your eggs in that basket.
Harden Going Hard
There is no doubt that Harden is one of the best players in the NBA.
22.5 points, 8 rebounds, and 10.2 assists a game is a stat line that anyone should be proud of.
With this trade, Harden is bringing those numbers to Philly which only greatly improves their offense.
When Harden is in the zone and really feeling himself, there are few people better than him.
He seems to be able to land shots from anywhere and has the ability to thread the needle, play in the paint, and of course create some incredible assists.
James Harden over the last 3 Games:
36 Points, 10 Rebounds, 10 Assists
39 Points, 8 Rebounds, 15 Assists
33 Points, 14 Rebounds, 10 Assists pic.twitter.com/KNveTkfFrI
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) December 31, 2021
However, it must also be noted that he has been called out repeatedly for being a bit lazy at times and lacking when it comes to defense.
So, yes, Harden will bring a lot to Philly but he still has room for improvement.
Few people have called Harden a great two-way player and if he wants to help his new squad make it to the Finals, he will need to work on that.
Whenever a major trade like this occurs within the NBA, fans should wait a few games – or even a few weeks – before they get too excited about the future.
This is because team chemistry doesn’t always instantly occur overnight.
Sometimes, in fact, it takes a while for a team to really start acting like a functioning, reliable unit.
Philly fans shouldn’t be too worried if this new lineup doesn’t automatically lead to great, sizable victories.
We know it might take a bit before Harden is playing as he can.
Earlier this year, Harden was having a major rough patch and some were wondering what exactly was going on with him.
There were multiple things holding him back: an NBA rule change greatly diminished his output and he had to adjust to a new role in the team since they had lost Kyrie Irving due to the vaccine mandate.
It may happen again: Harden might not be playing like an All-Star right away.
He is entering a team that has been rightfully claimed by Joel Embiid and he will need to see how he fits.
Thankfully, Harden is one of the best players in the NBA and is playing for one of the best teams in the NBA with one of the best coaches in the NBA.
There is every reason to believe these new 76ers will be title contenders – even if they aren’t immediately.