Sixers Rumors: Daryl Morey Still Hoping To Pull Ben Simmons-For-James Harden Blockbuster

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JB Baruelo

Since the 2021 NBA offseason, the Philadelphia 76ers have been vocal about their desire to trade All-Star point guard Ben Simmons. While they're making strong efforts to fix the issue with him, they are also actively listening to offers for the disgruntled superstar on the trade market. From the time they made him officially available on the trading block, Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey informed potential suitors that they would only accept an offer that includes another All-Star caliber player.

Daryl Morey Still Eyeing To Swap Ben Simmons For James Harden

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One of the top trade targets for the Sixers in the potential deal involving Simmons is All-Star shooting guard James Harden of the Brooklyn Nets. Though the Nets haven't given any indication that they are planning to trade "The Beard," Ian Begley of SportsNet New York revealed that the Sixers still haven't given up on their hopes o swapping Simmons for Harden.

"Even before those reports, Nets people who would need to be aware of Harden’s future were well aware that Philadelphia loomed as a potential suitor for the guard, SNY sources say," Begley wrote. "The Sixers and team president Daryl Morey attempted to trade for Harden last season before the Nets landed him. Philadelphia was willing to include Simmons in the trade, which is one of the many factors in Simmons’ falling out with the organization."

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Trading Ben Simmons For James Harden A No-Brainer For Sixers

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Though swapping Simmons for Harden would likely cost them additional trade assets, it should still be a no-brainer for the Sixers. Though he's not an elite defender like Simmons, Harden's potential arrival in Philadelphia would significantly improve their performance on the offensive end of the floor.

Harden would give the Sixers one of the league's best active scorers, as well as a great playmaker, rebounder, and floor-spacer. This season, he's averaging 21.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 9.3 assists, and 1.5 steals while shooting 41.6 percent from the field and 36.3 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.

James Harden Would Make Sixers No. 1 Team In The East

The successful acquisition of Harden would dramatically change the Sixers' fate in the NBA. It would still take time for him to familiarize himself with the Sixers' system but once he meshes well with their core, it could turn them from an average playoff contender into the most formidable team in the Eastern Conference.

Adding Harden to the core of Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, Danny Green, and Seth Curry would make the Sixers a tough team to beat in a best-of-seven series.

Why The Nets Would Make The Trade

As Begley noted, the potential blockbuster deal involving Harden and Simmons is highly unlikely to happen during the 2021-22 NBA season, especially now that the Nets are focused on winning the NBA championship title. The Sixers and the Nets could possibly execute a sign-and-trade deal centered on Harden if Brooklyn and "The Beard" fail to reach an agreement regarding a new contract next summer.

Instead of losing him in the 2022 NBA free agency without getting anything in return, the potential deal with the Sixers would allow the Nets to replace Harden with a young star in Simmons. They could make him Kevin Durant's new superstar running mate or as a potential trade chip in another blockbuster deal.

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