Los Angeles, CA
The LA Clippers have acquired James Harden, P.J. Tucker and Filip Petrusev from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Marcus Morris, Nico Batum, Robert Covington and K.J. Martin, announced Lawrence Frank, Clippers president of basketball operations. As part of the trade, the Clippers dealt a first-round pick, two second-round picks, a pick swap and cash considerations to the 76ers, while sending a pick swap and cash considerations to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“James is one of the most prolific and efficient playmakers in the NBA,” said Frank. “With his size and vision, he possesses an extraordinary ability to create for himself and others. The Los Angeles area has produced so many elite players in recent years. With Kawhi, Paul, Russ and James, we’re excited to bring four of them together, and eager to see what they can accomplish with the rest of our group.”
Harden is a three-time NBA scoring champion (2018, 2019, 2020) and NBA MVP (2018) who has played in 1,000 career games and holds averages of 24.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 1.5 steals. In his 15th NBA season, Harden is one of four players in league history to have averaged at least 20 points, five rebounds and 10 assists in three or more seasons. The only other players to do so more than once are Russell Westbrook (5) and Hall of Famers Oscar Robertson (5) and Magic Johnson (3). With the trade, LAC becomes the Los Angeles native’s fifth NBA team, following stints in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Houston and Oklahoma City.
“We’ve admired P.J. for a long time because of his toughness and physicality,” said Frank. “He competes every night and he defends across virtually every position. We believe he’ll bolster our frontcourt and fit our locker room.”
Tucker has appeared in 855 NBA regular-season games (659 starts) during his 12-year NBA career and has averaged 6.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.1 steals. Originally selected by Toronto in the second round (No. 35 overall) of the 2006 NBA Draft, Tucker played for the 76ers, Heat, Bucks, Rockets, Raptors and Suns. Tucker played collegiately at Texas from 2003-06, earning Big 12 Player of the Year in 2006. He was also selected to the All-Big 12 First Team, Big 12 All-Defensive Team and All-Big 12 Tournament First Team.
“To make a trade of this magnitude, we had to part with players who have meant a great deal to our organization: Marcus, who was a fixture in our starting lineup for four seasons with his strength, toughness and clutch shooting; Nico, the ultimate team player, who did whatever it took to win; Rob, a terrific pro, no matter how many minutes he was playing or touches he was getting; and K.J., a phenomenal athlete with a bright future. We thank them all and wish them the best in Philadelphia.”
Morris, 34, who was acquired by the Clippers in a 2020 trade with the New York Knicks, played in 195 games with LAC, averaging 12.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists. The Philadelphia native, in his 13th NBA season, has played 783 career games for six teams, including the Rockets, Suns, Pistons, Celtics, Knicks and Clippers.
Batum, 34, appeared in 207 games for the Clippers over four seasons and averaged 7.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists while shooting 39.7% from beyond the arc. The 6-foot-8 forward has appeared in 996 career NBA games with averages of 10.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists over 16 seasons with the Trail Blazers, Hornets and Clippers. Batum is one of seven active NBA players with 10,000 points, 5,000 rebounds and 1,500 three-pointers made.
Covington, 32, played in 74 games for the Clippers, averaging 7.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists. Against the Bucks on April 1, 2022, Covington made 11 three-pointers, a Clippers franchise record, and became the only player in NBA history to finish a game with at least 43 points, 11 threes, eight rebounds and three blocked shots. He holds career averages of 11.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.5 assists in 588 appearances across 11 NBA seasons with the Rockets, 76ers, Timberwolves, Trail Blazers and Clippers.
Martin Jr., 22, who was acquired by LAC in July, is in his fourth NBA season and has appeared in 208 games for the Rockets and Clippers. He holds career averages of 10.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists. The 6-foot-6 forward is the son of former NBA player Kenyon Martin.