The Philadelphia 76ers may be able to land superstar James Harden with a multi-player package headlined by Ben Simmons, a new report suggests.
The Houston Rockets star has reportedly been on the trade block this season after making his unhappiness with the team known. As NBC Sports noted, some league insiders believe that the Sixers could have the key to getting the Rockets to part with the former NBA MVP. The report noted that management was asking for Simmons along with three first-round draft picks, but ESPN’s Tim McMahon said that Philadelphia could have some players that could fill in.
McMahon noted that there is already familiarity between Harden and Sixers general manager Daryl Morey, who just departed Houston last year, and that could help move along a trade.
“And I think the big reason is just the simple fact that it’s a lot easier to construct a deal with the 76ers,” he said in an appearance on the Hoop Collective podcast, via NBC Sports. “Obviously Ben Simmons is the centerpiece. They’ve got some intriguing young players on the roster that I think could fill in for picks. I just think that, of the players that are possibilities, Ben Simmons is clearly the best centerpiece that the Rockets could get in a deal, and I think Philly has the – Tyrese Maxey, [Matisse] Thybulle, Shake Milton. Before we even get to talking about picks, they’ve got the kind of complimentary young assets that would be of great interest to the Rockets.”
He suggested that Philadelphia would likely also want the versatile P.J. Tucker in the deal, but believes there would be enough on both sides to get it done.
There appears to be plenty of interest in Harden, with reports connecting a number of different teams to the trade talks. As The Inquisitr reported, Harden’s list of desired destinations has expanded to include the Portland Trail Blazers and Boston Celtics. Harden had already made it known that he would prefer to be traded to one of the contenders in the Eastern Conference, namely the Brooklyn Nets, Sixers, Miami Heat, or Milwaukee Bucks. Others suggested that the Toronto Raptors would make the list.
Some have seen the Raptors and Celtics as the most likely destinations for Harden. As The Inquisitr reported, ESPN 97.5 Houston radio host John Granato pegged the Eastern Conference contenders as likely spots, as they could offer Pascal Siakam and Jaylen Brown, respectively, in trade packages.
The Rockets do not appear to be in a hurry to move the All-Star guard, however, and have played Harden in heavy rotation amid the team’s 1-2 start to the season.