Three bets to make after James Harden trade

What does the Harden trade mean for Embiid and the 76ers? (1:52)

Adrian Wojnarowski explains the next steps for the 76ers now that James Harden is on the move. (1:52)

The James Harden saga with the Philadelphia 76ers ended just in time for Halloween, and only time will tell which team got tricked and which got treated. Here's some actionable info in the immediate aftermath of the trade between the 76ers and LA Clippers.

What this means for Harden and the Clippers

Harden fundamentally changes the Clippers moving forward. Even at this stage in his career, he is a major usage player whose style requires that he handle the ball a lot and take his share of shots. This will be the third different team in which Harden shares the court with Russell Westbrook, but unlike in their last stop together with the Rockets, this time Harden is the new player trying to fit in on an already established team.

Westbrook is clearly the battery and energy source for this Clippers team, and we've already seen proof he can't be effective as an off-ball guard from his time with the Lakers. Thus, I think Westbrook stays at the point with Harden as more of a scoring, shooting guard. This gives the Clippers four high-volume scoring threats, along with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. If the skill sets mesh, it could make for a potent unit. Fantasy wise, all four players have lower scoring and assist ceilings while sharing the court together.

What this means for the 76ers

Harden hadn't played a game for the 76ers this season, so we've already seen that Tyrese Maxey (30.3 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 6.3 APG, 4.7 3PG) has massive statistical upside this season without Harden. With Harden officially gone, that high ceiling is locked in for Maxey if he stays healthy. The other big fantasy hoops winner for the 76ers is Kelly Oubre Jr., who has averaged 19.0 PPG in 29.3 MPG off the bench, but now becomes the de facto starting power forward with P.J. Tucker gone and a relied-upon scorer behind Maxey and Joel Embiid.

Bullish on Clippers team futures

The Clippers have been favorites in the West each of the past four seasons since Leonard and George joined the team in 2019, but injuries have limited their results. Even when healthy, the Clippers suffered from lack of playmaking without a clearly established point guard. This has hurt them in their playoff losses, and Westbrook has provided visible value as a floor general and energy source to start the season. With Harden in the fold, the Clippers have enough talent to contend even in the face of moderate injury. And if he and Westbrook can refind their synergy, playmaking should now become a major strength for the team. And their 3-point shooting should be enhanced as well. On the whole, the Clippers have just increased their ceiling in a tangible way. I see some value, now, in the Clippers to win the Western Conference (+650), and even more value in the Clippers to win the Pacific Division (+350).

Tyrese Haliburton to win regular season assist title (+125).

Harden won the assists title last season (10.7 APG), and as long as he was on a team where he could run the point he was a threat to win it again. But playing next to Westbrook, Harden's assist upside is curbed enough to take him out of the assists race. This makes the Pacers' Haliburton, who was only 0.3 APG behind Harden last season, the runaway favorite in my eyes to win this season's assist title. Haliburton is off to an amazing start as a distributor, averaging 12.3 APG through the first week, and if he stays healthy, I think this title is his to lose. I find value in this bet, even with Haliburton as the shortest odds on the board.