Daryl Morey Says The Sixers Need A ‘Very Good Player’ In A James Harden Trade ‘Or We’re Just Not Gonna Do It’

The Philadelphia 76ers have not had a particularly good offseason so far, as they saw a couple of rotation players leave this offseason and have done little to replace them, because their entire focus has had to be on James Harden’s trade request.

While there was hope Harden would change his mind after attending various Michael Rubin-hosted parties with his fellow Sixers stars, he informed the team last week that he still was adamant about being traded. His preference, by all accounts, is to go to L.A. and join the Clippers, who likewise stayed very quiet in free agency as they focused their efforts on acquiring Harden. To this point, there have been no real updates on those talks, which seem to be in a holding pattern until the Damian Lillard trade request in Portland is sorted out. That is for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being if Portland can find a better offer from a team other than the Heat, Miami could become a Harden suitor and force the Clippers into a stronger offer.

In the meantime, the Sixers are making it known they’re willing to let this drag on. On Tuesday, Daryl Morey went on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philly to discuss the offseason, confirming Harden still wanted to be traded while laying out what the Sixers demands are in return — a “very good player” or the draft picks to allow them to later get a very good player.

Given that the Clippers don’t particularly have draft assets to move, it seems clear that Philly will be holding out on them until they put the best package of players together — which is apparently more than Marcus Morris and Norman Powell. Terance Mann’s inclusion could be a sticking point, as he is the type of young, versatile wing that both the Sixers and Clippers would want to have on the roster to provide depth and Philly may hold out hoping to land him alongside Powell.

We have seen in the part that Morey is willing to let things get uncomfortable, as he held out as long as possible on trading Ben Simmons before ultimately landing Harden. In Tuesday’s interview he even touched on that situation, noting Harden was the only star that was ever really put on the table in talks for Simmons.

Overall, nothing Morey says here is groundbreaking, but it does provide a firsthand account of what the Sixers are looking for in Harden talks, as well as confirmation that they’re not going to acquiesce to a trade request if they can’t get back what they feel they need to remain a contender.