Ben Simmons guarding James Harden
Source: Getty | Tim Nwachukwu

NBA Rumors: James Harden To Philly, Ben Simmons & Tyrese Maxey To Brooklyn In Proposed Sixers-Nets Trade

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Feb. 6 2022, Published 2:13 p.m. ET

Since Ben Simmons expressed his desire to leave, the Philadelphia 76ers have been active on the trade market, searching for an All-Star caliber talent who would help Joel Embiid win the NBA championship title. Though Simmons remains an official member of their roster, the Sixers continue to be linked to several big names who are rumored to be available on the trading block, including All-Star shooting guard James Harden of the Brooklyn Nets.

According to The Athletic, Daryl Morey was "hell-bent" on finding a way to bring Harden to the City of Brotherly Love since he assumed the role as the Sixers' president of basketball operations.

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Is James Harden Available?

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Source: Getty | Thearon W. Henderson

Acquiring Harden from the Nets is indeed a possibility for the Sixers before the 2022 NBA trade deadline. Though they are currently focused on fully dominating the Western Conference and capturing the Larry O'Brien Trophy this season, Shams Charania of The Athletic revealed that the Nets have growing concerns regarding Harden's fit with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on the court. Charania added that the Nets are willing to engage in a blockbuster trade with the Sixers involving Harden and Simmons.

Proposed Sixers-Nets Trade

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Source: Getty | Tim Nwachukwu

However, the Nets are highly unlikely to agree to a one-for-one trade with the Sixers. To convince them to make a deal, the Sixers would be needing to add more precious trade assets in their potential offer. In a recent article, Lee Tran of Fadeaway World came up with a hypothetical trade idea that would enable the Sixers to acquire Harden from the Nets before the 2022 NBA trade deadline.

In the proposed trade scenario, the Sixers would be sending a package that includes Simmons, Tyrese Maxey, and a 2022 first-round pick to the Nets in exchange for Harden.

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James Harden Worth Giving Up Tyrese Maxey

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Source: Getty | Thearon W. Henderson

Giving up Maxey would be a tough decision for the Sixers, but it would be worth it if it means acquiring a player of Harden's caliber. Harden would be a dream acquisition for the Sixers. Pairing him with Embiid would help them improve their offensive efficiency that currently ranks No. 12 in the league, scoring 109.1 points per 100 possessions.

Harden would give the Sixers a prolific scorer, rebounder, playmaker, and three-point shooter. This season, he's averaging 22.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 10.2 assists, and 1.3 steals while shooting 41.4 percent from the field and 33.2 percent from beyond the arc.

Why The Nets Would Make The Trade

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Source: Getty | Tim Nwachukwu

The proposed trade deal would also make sense for the Nets, especially if they no longer believe that Harden could help them achieve their main goal this season. By sending Harden to Philadelphia, the Sixers won't only receive a younger All-Star caliber replacement for him in Simmons, but they also obtain a very talented and promising guard in Maxey and a future draft pick.

"Tyrese Maxey is a solid young combo guard that just got named to the Rising Stars game. He is currently putting up 16.9 PPG, 3.5 RPG, and 4.8 APG on the season while shooting 39.9% from beyond the arc," Tran wrote. "There's no doubt that Maxey has a promising future, and would provide the Brooklyn Nets with a solid prospect. The draft pick, in this case, would be a low-tier pick, but it would potentially help the Nets draft a contributor later in the first round."

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