While it’s looked unlikely that a trade might come together this season, a potential scenario that was reported on Friday afternoon could change that. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Brooklyn Nets are believed to be open to discussing a deal that would send James Harden to Philly for Simmons.
Sources: The Philadelphia 76ers are expected to pursue Brooklyn's James Harden ahead of NBA trade deadline Thursday – and the Nets are now open to discussing a deal.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 4, 2022
There’s expectation that both the 76ers and Nets will engage in dialogue on a deal around Simmons for Harden, multiple sources say, with Philadelphia holding a chest of role players in Seth Curry, Tyrese Maxey, and Matisse Thybulle that could sweeten a potential package,” wrote Charania. “Still, there’s no urgency for Nets officials, who have had the steadfast belief that the current core, as is, has the means necessary for a championship.”
While the Nets may be primed to play for a championship, being able to shore up that ability could be enough to make them pull the trigger on this deal. Given that they don’t want to waste Kevin Durant’s prime and they’re already hamstrung by Kyrie Irving’s part-time arrangement, moving a disgruntled Harden for Simmons, who may have a lot to prove, could do it.
While the Big 3 of Durant, Irving, and Harden was supposed to be the trio that took Brooklyn to the championship, they’ve only played 16 games together (with a 13-3 record). Meanwhile, the Sixers would love to get a player like Harden, who is available and ready to play, instead of sitting on Simmons, who refuses to rejoin their roster.
Of course, this kind of deal could also end up blowing up for both teams as both Harden and Simmons have proven themselves mercurial and very happy to force trades whenever their situations are no longer to their liking. So any gains could be short-lived.
There are a lot of moving parts involved in a potential deal like this, and it could very easily fall apart even if talks heat up. But in the meantime, the possibility has a lot of NBA folks talking.
Well, now… https://t.co/u25XhMnPic
— Michael Grady (@Grady) February 4, 2022
Nets win that trade regardless of what they get in return https://t.co/p9m8z8QdZZ
— warriorsworld (@warriorsworld) February 4, 2022
Situation update: Way past crazy https://t.co/NX1NUYPNeh
— Ben DuBose (@BenDuBose) February 4, 2022
the nets ending up with kyrie AND ben simmons is almost too much to comprehend https://t.co/4AG5t4QISa
— russbengtson.eesh (@russbengtson) February 4, 2022
Where there's smoke, there's fire Does this mean that James Harden has requested a trade? https://t.co/v5C9YRuJVF
— NetsDaily (@NetsDaily) February 4, 2022
GOOD AFTERNOON CITIZENS OF PHILADELPHIA https://t.co/yKwQP2TvQo
— The Sixer Sense (@SixerSense) February 4, 2022
We shall see if this ends up happening or if both teams will simply have to ride out their current rosters and hope they’re healthy enough to make a run in the playoffs.