Two Compelling Reasons for the Clippers to Include Terance Mann in a Potential James Harden Trade…

Exploring the rationale behind the Los Angeles Clippers’ necessity to include Terance Mann in a trade for 76ers star James Harden.

James Harden’s ongoing standoff with the Philadelphia 76ers remains unresolved, despite his desire to join the Los Angeles Clippers, which was made evident when he chose to opt into his contract in July. Harden’s frustration with Sixers’ GM Daryl Morey has been publicly voiced, yet he still wears the Sixers’ jersey. His absence from the first day of Sixers training camp further underscores his dissatisfaction with the team.

Despite this situation, there has been limited information regarding a potential trade between the Clippers and the Sixers for Harden—until recently. Shams Charania, a prominent figure on The Athletic, appeared on Bally Sports’ ‘The Rally’ and shed light on what both teams are seeking in a potential James Harden trade. It’s evident that the Sixers are particularly interested in acquiring Terance Mann, the Clippers’ guard.

Charania reported that the Clippers have proposed trading one unprotected first-round pick and an unprotected pick swap, but the Sixers are looking for more, specifically, they want Terance Mann included in the deal.

The Clippers have always valued Mann highly, as evidenced by their previous reluctance to include him in trade discussions for players like Fred VanVleet and Jrue Holiday. The league itself acknowledges Mann’s worth, signaling that the Clippers should consider including him in a James Harden trade for various reasons.

  1. Terance Mann’s Role and Value

Terance Mann is a valuable role player who can serve as an effective fourth or fifth starter or provide a spark off the bench. Many teams covet players with his skill set, but it’s crucial to note that Mann isn’t a star, whereas James Harden is.

As Mann enters his fifth NBA season, the league and its followers generally have a good understanding of a player’s capabilities after their third season. While there have been exceptions due to early entries and player development, Mann falls within the traditional trajectory. Despite his potential, there isn’t substantial evidence to suggest significant growth in his game. Mann’s usage rates, as per Basketball-Reference, have ranged from 12.6% to 16% over his four-year career. While the Clippers have had playmakers during his tenure, his limited role in creating plays raises questions about his ability in that regard.

Additionally, Mann’s shooting percentages on pullup field goal attempts have remained relatively average, with his best effective field goal percentage reaching 49.6% last year. Although Mann is undoubtedly a solid player, he hasn’t demonstrated the star potential that James Harden possesses.

  1. Securing the Best Star Available

The Clippers urgently require a player who can complement Kawhi Leonard and Paul George while also thriving off the ball. James Harden is an ideal fit for this role. When considering alternative options, Malcolm Brogdon may come to mind, but his potential doesn’t match Harden’s. While Brogdon is a reliable player, Harden brings a higher upside, which the Clippers desperately need given the competitive landscape in the Western Conference.

The Denver Nuggets recently claimed an NBA title and posed a significant challenge to the Clippers in the playoffs. The Los Angeles Lakers have strengthened their roster and look more formidable than before. Meanwhile, the Phoenix Suns made significant acquisitions in Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal, while the Golden State Warriors won the championship just two years ago. The Clippers must contend with these formidable opponents and young, up-and-coming teams like the Kings, Timberwolves, Grizzlies, Pelicans, and Thunder who continue to improve.

In conclusion, the Clippers must weigh their desire to retain Terance Mann against the urgency to stay competitive. Acquiring James Harden would significantly bolster their chances in a highly competitive Western Conference. While Mann’s development is commendable, he should not serve as an obstacle for a Clippers team running out of time.

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