The Sixers And Nets Have Agreed To A Ben Simmons For James Harden Trade

The Ben Simmons saga in Philadelphia has come to an end. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the widely-rumored trade between the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers that would see Simmons and James Harden switch teams ahead of the NBA trade deadline has come to fruition, with the two All-Stars moving within the same division and Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, and a pair of picks headed to Brooklyn along with Simmons.

Reports emerged in the middle of the day on Thursday that the hang up on the deal was the Nets wanting Matisse Thybulle, but the Sixers held on to their star perimeter defender by adding a second first round pick and Drummond to bolster the Nets frontcourt.

Paul Millsap will head to Philly, which had a frontcourt rotation spot to fill in Drummond’s stead.

The picks going to the Nets are this year’s first from Philly and a protected 2027 first, with the Nets being able to defer this year’s pick to next year.

It had been reported in recent weeks that the Sixers were interested in finding a way to acquire Harden in the summer after it surfaced that the now-former Nets star was interested in testing free agency for the first time in his career. Things started to escalate in the week leading up to the deadline, though, as the Nets became open to trying to figure out a deal amid the team’s recent struggles.

Simmons, of course, has not played this season, with his final appearance coming in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Atlanta Hawks, which Philadelphia lost. In the aftermath, Simmons came under criticism from Sixers coach Doc Rivers and star player Joel Embiid for his play in the series, and in the coming weeks, it became evident that he wanted a fresh start. Despite the team’s comments about wanting him to return to the floor, though, that never happened, even when the team began fining Simmons for not reporting and withholding paychecks.

Now, a trade that has been rumored ever since Harden’s days as a member of the Houston Rockets is finally going down. It’s one that makes a ton of sense for both teams — Philly gets the kind of superstar they wanted for Simmons and a perimeter creator, both for himself and for others, that the team could use, while Brooklyn gets a defensive menace who will keep the ball moving in their offense and is happy to fill in gaps while Kevin Durant and, when he can play, Kyrie Irving are cooking. But above all else, this trade makes sense in that it moves a pair of disgruntled superstars who desperately needed a change in scenery. Here’s to hoping Sixers-Nets happens in the playoffs.