Los Angeles Clippers stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are on board with the idea of James Harden joining the team, sources told Sam Amick of The Athletic.

Harden is strongly optimistic the Philadelphia 76ers will trade him to the Clippers, Amick adds. The 33-year-old reportedly exercised his $35.6-million player option Thursday with the hopes of working with Philadelphia on moving him.

The Sixers are already discussing a Harden trade with the Clippers, sources told Amick.

Harden also had “serious interest” in joining the Phoenix Suns before the club recently traded for Bradley Beal, Amick reports. However, the Sixers reportedly never engaged with the Suns on a deal before the Beal acquisition.

A Los Angeles native, Harden could join the Clippers’ core of Leonard and George that has struggled to stay healthy in recent years. Neither player has played more than 57 regular-season games in each of the four campaigns they’ve spent in L.A.

The Clippers have made one conference finals appearance over that span and have never reached the NBA Finals.

Harden averaged 21 points and a league-leading 10.7 assists per game last season for Philadelphia. He joined the 76ers in February 2022 after requesting a trade from the Brooklyn Nets.

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