James Harden joins the Sixers on trade deadline day
Following days of rumours, James Harden will quit the Nets to join the Sixers in exchange for Ben Simmons. Daryl Morey gets his man.
It was the bombshell of the NBA trade deadline, a deal which many were waiting to be made official. Both The Athletic's Shams Charania and ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed almost simultaneously, that James Harden is on his way to join the Sixers courtesy of a deal made possible by Daryl Morey, the president who always wanted him on his team. In exchange, Philadelphia will finally release Ben Simmons, who will be joined by Seth Curry, an unprotected first round pick in 2022 and Andre Drummond. Apart from Harden, the Nets have also included Paul Millsap in the deal.
In fell swoop, two of the NBA's biggest sagas in recent times come to an end. The situation concerning Ben Simmons, inactive since the start of the season after being made the scapegoat by Sixers' fans for their second round play-off exit. The guard will be moving to a new destination, one which he should have no problems at all adapting to in terms of style of play and current form. It also means he will now stop losing money (over 19 million in fines) for refusing to play while no medical grounds to back up his decision. And Harden, who leaves the Nets via the back door, a trade forced by a player who wasn't happy with the Rockets a few months ago, or more recently in Brooklyn.
Harden didn't travel with the team this morning and according to some sources, he stayed behind training with Nets coaching staff. Simmons meanwhile was completely disconnected from the group and his relationship with Embiid broken beyond repair. The trade favours both sides, leaving them with the following possible line-ups: Kyrie, Seth Curry, Durant, Simmons and LaMacurs Aldrige for the Nets; and for the Sixers: Harden, Tyrese Maxey (who they refused to include in the deal) Danny Green, Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid. Two formidable teams on paper - we will see how well they function out on court, who could also end up being rivals in the playoffs.