Rumors heat up about potential James Harden-Ben Simmons trade

The 76ers were in no hurry to deal with Ben Simmons, but the Nets’ willingness to deal with James Harden changed Daryl Morey’s mind.

Daryl Morey has made it clear to anyone listening that the 76ers will not be pressured to offload Ben Simmons before next week’s NBA Trades Deadline. That’s not to say Philadelphia won’t jump at the chance to land James Harden if the Nets are really ready to deal with the former MVP.

Shams Charania by The Athletic reports that the two teams are expected to engage in negotiations on what will be a blockbuster trade.

The Nets appear to be opening up for business due to concerns about Harden’s willingness to play the kind of “freestyle” basketball that appeals to teammate Kevin Durant and head coach Steve Nash in Brooklyn. Harden remains a dominant one-on-one offensive player but his tendency to slow the game with his complicated dribbling routine seems to have worn away his welcome to the Nets.

Ben Simmons for James Harden will be a blockbuster deal

Simmons hasn’t played a minute for Philadelphia this season and it’s hard to imagine him wearing the 76ers’ uniform again. His inability to shoot gave him an awkward on-court matchup against Joel Embiid, and his off-court behavior caused even more concern to Morey and team officials in Philadelphia.

The two sides have not yet established anything approaching a solid framework for any deal, but it is thought Brooklyn would be interested in adding Seth Curry, Tyrese Maxey and/or Matisse Thybule to any deal. any. The draft compensation may be related to Brooklyn’s lack of a first-round spot following their deal with Houston to buy Harden in the first place.

The open nature of the race at this year’s Eastern Conference could also affect whether the two teams are willing to make such a seismic trade mid-season. No dominant team has to fear Brooklyn or Philadelphia if they want a spot in this year’s NBA Finals.

Landing Harden will fulfill Morey’s wish to pair Embiid with another All-NBA star. The Nets are keen to re-establish their roster around Durant with more depth. It’s a potential deal that has plenty of opportunities for both teams. If the Nets are really willing to move Harden, a deal with the 76ers could come together quickly. Rumors heat up about potential James Harden-Ben Simmons trade

John Verrall

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