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James Harden traded to 76ers for Ben Simmons, per report

After days of hypothesis and rumors, the largest blockbuster of the NBA trade deadline is now full. The Brooklyn Nets traded famous person James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, in addition to an unprotected 2022 first-round choose (which could be deferred to 2023), and a protected 2027 first-round choose, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

It’s the top of Brooklyn’s ‘large three’ dream that by no means reached its full potential. A mix of accidents to Harden and Kevin Durant, paired with Kyrie Irving’s half time standing as an unvaccinated participant has the Nets sitting No. 7 within the Japanese Convention in a 12 months the place they have been broadly projected because the championship favorites within the preseason.

The Nets went all-in on Harden at the beginning of final season, buying and selling three unprotected first spherical picks, 4 first spherical choose swaps, and giving up Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert to land him from Houston. Nonetheless, the top result’s removed from what Harden signed up for. After Harden was injured throughout the 2021 playoffs because the Nets misplaced within the second spherical, he hoped to rebound this season, however Irving’s unvaccinated standing and accidents to KD and Harden have added up.

Harden is an unrestricted free agent this summer season, and rumors circulated that he wished to go to Philadelphia the place he would reunite with Daryl Morey, who he’s aware of attributable to their time collectively in Houston — whereas additionally attending to play with an elite MVP candidate in Joel Embiid, who ensures he received’t have to do every part on the court docket. The concern of dropping Harden and getting nothing in return in the end prompted the Nets to drag the set off now, though there was nonetheless perception this crew might make a championship run, if its three stars all performed collectively.

In the meantime the commerce rids Philadelphia of its largest headache. The acrimonious relationship between Simmons and the Sixers soured over the summer season, when he refused to report following the crew’s notorious collapse towards the Hawks within the playoffs final 12 months. The Sixers and Simmons engaged in a really public back-and-forth since then, with Simmons claiming he wanted wanted to step away for his psychological well being, whereas the 76ers questioned his course of. Agent Rich Paul said the ongoing feud with Philadelphia was causing Simmons’ mental health to deteriorate, making it more and more obvious he may by no means swimsuit up for the crew once more.

In the long run this commerce was too good for each groups to move up. Two gamers, each wanting out of their respective cities, now get a chance to plant new roots. Including Harden to the Sixers makes Philadelphia an instantaneous championship contender this season, the place they at the moment discover themselves in fifth place, whereas Simmons presents Brooklyn much-needed defensive versatility and playmaking potential on a crew the place his lack of taking pictures expertise can be mitigated by Durant and Irving.

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