The Los Angeles Clippers are set to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers at Arena on Wednesday night. After months of anticipation and trade discussions, the Clippers agreed on a trade sending James Harden back home to Los Angeles. With Harden and P.J. Tucker working their way towards the roster, it begs the question: Is James Harden playing tonight vs. the Lakers?

James Harden injury status vs. Lakers

The Clippers posted a 44-38 record last season, with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George both missing significant time due to injuries. With the move to acquire Harden, the Clippers essentially went all-in on winning now with their star duo in their fifth season together for Los Angeles.

As of Wednesday morning, the trade between the Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers is technically not official yet. Whether it's due to any additional terms being discussed, physicals that need to be passed, or some other reason, both the Clippers and Sixers have yet to finalize the deal. With that said, Harden will not play, but Shams reported his targeted debut is Monday against the New York Knicks. Here are the full details of the trade, initially reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski:

Clippers receive:

– James Harden
– PJ Tucker
– Filip Petrusev

76ers receive:

– Marcus Morris
– Nic Batum
– Robert Covington
– KJ Martin
– LAC’s 2026 1st round Pick (Protected, via OKC)
– LAC’s 2028 1st round pick (unprotected)
– 2024 2nd round pick (via LAC)
– 2029 2nd round pick (via LAC)

Thunder receive:

– LAC’s 2027 1st round Pick (swap)

The new Clippers guard and forward arrived in Los Angeles Tuesday afternoon and were in attendance for the teams 118-102 victory over the Orlando Magic. There were a lot of pregame greetings as Harden, Tucker, and Russell Westbrook — all former Houston Rockets teammates — were reunited.

Harden had quite the preseason this year. To start, Harden elected to skip Sixers Media Day and reported to training camp a day late. As if that wasn't enough, Harden missed an additional week due to a personal matter and was not given the green light to participate in any game, preseason or any regular season, for Philly.

Instead, Harden was told to report to Philadelphia where he could work on getting his mind and body as close to ready as possible. Long story short, Harden did so, but something at the Sixers' home opener pushed trade talks over the edge.

This comes after the viral video coming from his Adidas China Tour where he repeatedly called Sixers President of Basketball Operations a ‘liar' and followed that up by saying he'd never play for a team run by him ever again.

The Clippers play the second night of their first back-to-back set of the season on Tuesday and Wednesday, and there's a non-zero chance that Harden suits up for the game. However, given that the trade is not yet official, Harden and Tucker have not gone through a single practice yet, and given that the team has four days off before their next game against the New York Knicks, it would be wise to wait until the dust settles and each player feels somewhat comfortable and familiar with what the team is running.

In 58 games for the Philadelphia 76ers last year, Harden averaged 21 points, 6.1 rebounds, 10.7 assists, and 1.2 steals per game on 44.1 percent shooting from the field and 38.5 percent from three.

Tucker played 75 games for the Sixers last season, averaging 2 points. 4.7 rebounds, and 1 steal per game on 42.7 percent shooting from the field and 39.3 percent from three.

As the Clippers prepare for their matchup against the Lakers, the question is answered: Is James Harden playing tonight? No, he is not.