James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets drives towards Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers throughout the third quarter at Wells Fargo Heart on February 06, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Tim Nwachukwu | Getty Pictures
The NBA’s greatest commerce domino fell simply earlier than the league’s deadline Thursday.
The Brooklyn Nets will commerce guard James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers for a package deal centered round guard Ben Simmons, The Athletic and ESPN reported. Each retailers reported that the 76ers can even obtain ahead Paul Millsap, whereas the Nets will get guard Seth Curry, middle Andre Drummond and two first-round draft picks.
The commerce will resolve simmering tensions for each groups, which entered the season with championship hopes. The previous league MVP Harden has reportedly grown annoyed in Brooklyn because the loaded Nets, beset by an damage to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving’s restricted availability as a result of his refusal to obtain a Covid-19 vaccine, discover themselves close to the center of the league’s Jap Convention.
Simmons, in the meantime, has refused to play for the 76ers this season after the one-time All-NBA participant shouldered a lot of the blame for his crew’s collapse in final season’s playoffs. The 76ers and middle Joel Embiid, one of many main candidates for this season’s MVP award, have remained among the many high groups within the East with out Simmons.
The commerce ends a short-lived experiment in Brooklyn, which traded away a lot of its future final 12 months to have Harden be a part of fellow superstars Durant and Irving. The trio performed solely 16 video games collectively.
The Nets, taking part in with out Harden and Irving for a lot of the sequence, misplaced to the eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks in final season’s playoffs.
Philadelphia regarded to enhance its roster round Embiid to maximise his stellar play this season. Harden, 32, will likely be reunited with Philadelphia’s president of basketball operations Daryl Morey.
As a Houston Rockets government, Morey traded for Harden, who helped to make the crew one of many high franchises within the league throughout the 2010s.
The 25-year-old Simmons, the primary general decide within the 2016 NBA Draft, helped Embiid to guide the 76ers to perennial playoff competition. Their success adopted “The Course of,” years of deliberate shedding within the mid-2010s to build up high draft picks and different property.
Simmons, lengthy maligned for his reticence to shoot, drew backlash from followers for his efficiency in his crew’s Sport 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in final season’s playoffs. At a important second within the recreation, the 6-foot-11-inch Simmons handed up a dunk when 6-foot-1-inch Atlanta guard Trae Younger was the closest defender.
Atlanta’s upset win over Philadelphia, and Simmons’ determination to not shoot, contributed to the guard’s deadlock together with his crew this 12 months.