There’s been a whole lot of smoke in recent weeks about the Philadelphia 76ers trying to pursue James Harden when he hits free agency this summer. According to a new report by Shams Charania of The Athletic, Philly might be able to get a reunion between Harden and Daryl Morey a little bit earlier than that.
Charania reports that the Sixers are expected to see if they can convince the Brooklyn Nets to part ways with their star guard. The catch: Brooklyn is apparently open to the idea of having a conversation, one that would theoretically involve sending Ben Simmons to the Nets.
With the NBA trade deadline just days away on Feb. 10, the 76ers are expected to pursue Harden in the coming days and the Nets are believed to be open to discussing a deal, sources with knowledge of the situation tell The Athletic. There’s expectation that both the 76ers and Nets will engage in dialogue on a deal around Simmons for Harden this week, 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. 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. However, it’s believed that an opening exists should an offer elevate the team and make the roster more well-rounded as the franchise pursues a championship.
The two teams are heading in different directions right now. While Philly has not had Simmons’ services this season as he looks for a trade, the Sixers have won seven of their last 10 and moved to third place in the Eastern Conference, with only one game separating them and the 1-seed. The Nets, meanwhile, have dropped six in a row and have fallen all the day down to sixth place, and there’s only a 1.5 game cushion between themselves and a spot in the play-in tournament.
Previously, it had been reported that Brooklyn wasn’t interested in taking calls on Harden before the deadline.