The Philadelphia 76ers have experienced a strong start to the 2023-24 NBA season. Nick Nurse's team owns a 13-7 record as of Dec. 8, putting them just two games back of the Eastern Conference's top spot. While the campaign hasn't been flawless, it's safe to say that general manager Daryl Morey's recent decisions are paying off.
With that being said, a handful of former 76ers are likely disappointed that they don't get to experience the franchise's current success. After all, the grass isn't always greener on the other side in the world of sports.
Here's a look at three 76ers who are failing miserably with their new teams in 2023.
1. James Harden, LA Clippers
Whether or not you agree with his reasons for wanting to leave the 76ers, it's clear that James Harden's tenure with the LA Clippers isn't going as planned.
The 10-time NBA All-Star's arrival hasn't had the impact that the Clippers expected. Instead of the team solidifying itself as a contender out West, LA has only gone 7-8 with Harden in the lineup — which includes going 0-5 in his first five appearances.
Yes, the Clippers have seemingly turned things around since then, but it isn't as if Harden's play has been a big factor. He's only averaging 16 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 6.7 assists through 15 appearances. That's fairly disappointing considering how he averaged 21.0 PTS/6.1 REB/10.7 AST while only averaging about two more minutes played with the 76ers last season.
And even if he's shooting the ball well (47.1% from the floor, 40.9% from three-point range), Harden doesn't thrive as much unless he's the top scoring option. With the Clippers also needing to feed Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Russell Westbrook, Harden doesn't have the same impact that he's had elsewhere.
That's without mentioning how Harden's defense has been lacking, too. His plus-0.3 average plus/minus ranks 235th out of 493 players this season, putting him on the same level as rotational players such as Jaden Springer and Jalen Pickett.
The Clippers' trading for Harden was a "championship-or-bust" move. So unless the team establishes itself as a legitimate contender, Harden might end up regretting asking for a move to the City of Angels.