NBA Betting: How the James Harden Trade Changes the NBA Landscape

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Michael Savio
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  • The Clippers acquired James Harden and PJ Tucker from the Sixers
  • Bookmakers now have the Clippers as a top five favorite to win the NBA Title
  • Harden led the league in assists last season

The NBA landscape was shaken late Monday night when the Sixers agreed to trade James Harden to the Clippers. The disgruntled star had been attempting to be traded over the offseason, and he has finally gotten his wish.

Harden gives the Clippers a third star and NBA betting sites  now see them as a top five favorite to win the NBA title. Below we will cover the details of the trade, the Clippers odds for future bets, and how we see this new and improved team.

Details From the Harden Trade

James Harden was the key piece of the trade, but there was a lot of other players involved. Chief among them is PJ Tucker, who will be heading to LA with Harden. While he provides little on offense, the forward remains as one of the top defenders in the league. Given the three-headed scoring monster the Clippers now have, Tucker should be a perfect fit.

I exchange for Harden and Tucker, the Clippers sent Nicolas Batum, Marcus Morris, Robert Covington, KJ Martin, and draft picks to the Sixers. The trade gives an already good Sixers team a lot of key role players, as well as several expiring contracts. Given that Harden’s unhappiness with the team, it was a big win for Philadelphia.

Updated Futures Odds for the Clippers

US Sportsbooks now has the Clippers as one of the Western Conference’s top teams and a title contender. It will take time for this team to adjust to their new lineup and learn to play together, but bookmakers like their chances to find success.

Below are the odds for three of the top future bets for the LA Clippers.




Clippers to win NBA Title

FanDuel Sportsbook


Clippers to win the West

DraftKings Sportsbook


Clippers to win Pacific Division

BetMGM Sportsbook


How the Trade Improves the Clippers

There is no question that the Clippers now a much better team. They already had two stars in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard that led them to a 44-38 record. Both are elite playmakers, but health has been a major issue. The Clippers did not have a third star to fill in, but the addition of Harden fixes that.

When George and Leonard are both healthy and, on the floor, Harden should have no problem fitting in. He can still score, but the All-Star has become one of the best distributors in the league. He led the league in assists last year (10.7 APG), having no problem allowing Joel Embiid to be the team’s top scoring option. If he can replicate that this season, the Clippers will land a top seed in the West.

The addition of PJ Tucker will also improve this Clippers team, especially in the postseason. Given the stars on the Suns, Nuggets, and Warriors, having a defender of Tucker’s caliber can make all the difference in the playoffs.

How the Trade Could Hurt the Clippers

If everything goes right, this trade will make the Clippers incredibly difficult to beat. However, there are two major concerns that could prevent that. The first is the health of Leonard and George. While Harden can help fill if the stars miss time, the team won’t be elite if they can’t keep their three stars on the floor together.

The second concern is Harden’s level of happiness. The star has a history of problems with teams that ultimately lead to him not playing, playing poorly, and attacking front offices on social media. He should be ok for the remainder of the year, but it doesn’t take much to upset Harden. If he does become disgruntled, it will likely tank any hopes at a championship.

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid. As an adult, Michael started picking games for a small sports betting site and has built it into a career. His experience allows him to provide tips and information to help other bettors improve their game. Michael cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams, the Arizona State Sun Devils (his alma mater), and the Ottawa Senators. He specializes in baseball betting but has extensive experience in football, basketball, and hockey. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children or hiking and enjoying the outdoors.