The Philadelphia 76ers have been through quite a rollercoaster with James Harden, a journey filled with optimism, sacrifice, and ultimately, Harden’s departure. This article explores the Philly fiasco and how Harden’s exit could pave the way for the Sixers to acquire another All-Star guard, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. We’ll also delve into Shai’s remarkable performance in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
Adam Silver is not in favor of the trade demands made by James Harden and Damian Lillard
“Don’t like them, as a league. I want players and teams to both honor their contracts. I’m watching everything going on in Portland and Philadelphia and hoping they get resolved to… pic.twitter.com/JEO5SUZuGq
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) September 13, 2023
The Philly Fiasco: James Harden’s Potential Departure
James Harden’s stint with the Philadelphia 76ers was initially greeted with high hopes. However, beneath the surface, there were growing tensions. Harden had willingly sacrificed personal statistics and a more substantial contract, hoping to replicate the success he had with the Houston Rockets. Yet, questions lingered about his fit and value within the Sixers’ roster. The narrative of “sacrifice” started to unravel, resulting in a fiasco in Philly and ultimately culminating in Harden’s antics. This situation left us pondering the alignment of talent, timing, and sacrifice required for championship success.
The Potential Arrival of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
If James Harden’s exit does happen, the Philadelphia 76ers find themselves in a unique position to reconfigure their roster. One compelling option is to pair Joel Embiid, their franchise cornerstone, with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Shai’s stellar performance in the 2023 FIBA World Cup makes him an attractive prospect.
Oklahoma City Thunder have record draft capital. Sixers would have to offer a lot to get Shai. Another potential deal could be trading away Joel Embiid who looks like a James Harden 2.0 situation in the making. Reports have suggested he wants to be gone from the Sixers as well.
Shai’s World Cup Performance
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander left an indelible mark on the 2023 FIBA World Cup, establishing himself as one of the tournament’s standout performers. In the bronze medal game against the United States, he delivered a jaw-dropping performance, contributing 31 points, 12 assists, and six rebounds, including seven crucial points in overtime. His heroics helped secure Canada’s third-place finish.
Throughout the tournament, Shai consistently showcased his skills, averaging 24.5 points on an impressive 54.5% shooting. His versatility was on full display with 6.5 assists and 6.4 rebounds per game over eight contests. His exceptional performance earned him a spot on the FIBA All-Star 5 lineup, recognizing him as one of the top five players in the tournament.
Notably, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander also earned the top spot in the World Cup according to HoopsHype’s Global Rating system, finishing with a remarkable rating of 38.79. This comprehensive rating system considers various factors, including box score statistics and playing time, to evaluate a player’s overall performance.
The likely departure of James Harden has reshaped the Philadelphia 76ers’ landscape. Pairing Joel Embiid with the emerging star, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, could be a game-changing move that propels the Sixers towards championship glory. Shai’s stellar World Cup performance only solidifies his status as a top-tier player and a potential key piece of the Sixers’ championship puzzle.