James Harden is headed to the Brooklyn Nets following a gigantic, four-team deal involving the Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Indiana Pacers. In terms of both the number of picks/players in the move and the centerpiece of the whole thing, this was one of the biggest trades in recent NBA history, with Brooklyn acquiring an MVP candidate to put alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
One major question that popped up in all of this is why the Nets deal won out over the deal from the Philadelphia 76ers, which apparently put forth a deal centered around Ben Simmons. According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports on the Posted Up podcast, it was easy: pettiness won out.
“I was told that Tilman Fertitta, the Houston Rockets owner, he was just adamant that they not make a deal with Philly, obviously with Daryl Morey being the GM over there now,” Haynes said around the 6:45 mark of the podcast.
Morey, of course, was the wildly successful executive in Houston for years who left the organization after last season and cited a desire to be away from basketball for some time. However, shortly after that happened, he took a job leading the front office in Philadelphia, and while a Harden-for-Simmons swap would have been interesting no matter who was negotiating it, things got taken to another level, apparently, with who was at the helm of negotiations.