Sixers Rumors: James Harden To Philly, Ben Simmons To Brooklyn Nets In Proposed Sign-And-Trade Deal

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JB Baruelo

The Philadelphia 76ers are currently one of the most active teams on the trade market in the 2021-22 NBA season. Though they continue to make efforts to convince him to stay, the Sixers are actively finding disgruntled superstar Ben Simmons a new home before the 2022 NBA trade deadline. Despite his shooting woes, the Sixers are still expecting a huge return for the former No. 1 pick.

In any potential deal involving Simmons, the Sixers have made it clear to everyone in the league that they would only entertain an offer that includes an All-Star caliber player in the trade package.

Harden Emerging Potential Sixer's Target

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In a recent article, Sam Amick of The Athletic revealed that the Sixers have a list of at least 30 difference-making players whom they would consider trading Simmons. One of the potential targets for the Sixers in the deal involving Simmons is All-Star shooting guard James Harden of the Brooklyn Nets.

With his strong connection with Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, it's hardly surprising why "The Beard" is being linked to Philadelphia. However, with Harden focused on helping the Nets end their title drought, the Sixers may have to wait until the end of the season to pursue him on the market.


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Sixers Believe James Harden Will Consider Philadelphia

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As of now, Harden hasn't shown any sign that he's no longer happy with the Nets. However, if they fail to reach an agreement regarding a new contract in the 2022 NBA free agency, the Sixers believe that they could steal Harden from the Nets, according to Sam Quinn of CBS Sports.

"Multiple reports have now suggested that Philadelphia is interested in reuniting the pair," Quinn said referring to Simmons and Morey. "On paper, that appears unlikely. Harden got the trade he wanted. He is playing for a championship contender with the Brooklyn Nets. But he can become a free agent this offseason, and he hasn't yet signed a contract extension. All signs point to a new deal in Brooklyn, but if one does not materialize, Philadelphia seems to believe it would be atop Harden's wishlist."

A Perfect Fit With Joel Embiid

Harden would undeniably be an incredible trade target for the Sixers. Though he's not a great defender like Simmons, his potential arrival in the City of Brotherly Love would significantly improve their performance on the offensive end of the floor. He would give them one of the league's best active scorers, as well as a great playmaker, rebounder, and elite three-point shooter.

This season, the 32-year-old shooting guard is averaging 20.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, 8.8 assists, and 1.2 steals while shooting 43.2 percent from the field and 39.5 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN. With his ability to efficiently knock down shots from the three-point range, he would nicely fit alongside Joel Embiid in Philadelphia.

Sixers' Complicated Pursuit Of Harden

The Sixers' rumored pursuit of Harden in the 2022 NBA free agency won't be easy. As Quinn noted, Morey would need the cooperation of the Nets to make his reunion with Harden in Philadelphia next summer possible. The dream scenario for the Sixers is convincing the Nets to agree to a sign-and-trade deal that would send Harden to the City of Brotherly Love and Simmons to Brooklyn.

After successfully acquiring Harden, the Sixers would have to find a way to fill the rest of their roster using the limited salary cap space that they have.