NBA Rumors: Sixers Still Dreaming Of Swapping Ben Simmons For James Harden

Basketball
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JB Baruelo

Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons is one of the NBA superstars who are frequently mentioned in various trade speculations since the start of the 2021-22 NBA season. Simmons may remain an official member of the Sixers' roster but since he took most of the blame for their failure to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals last year, he has been aggressively finding his way out of the City of Brother Love.

However, with the Sixers' high asking price, some people are already having doubts if a Simmons trade would happen before the 2022 NBA trade deadline.

Sixers Still Eyeing To Swap Ben Simmons For James Harden

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As of now, Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey is still hoping that they could acquire a legitimate superstar in the potential deal involving Simmons. According to Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic, the Sixers are willing to play the waiting game on Simmons with the hope of using him as the main trade chip to acquire James Harden or other superstars in the 2021 NBA offseason.

"Multiple sources, including people with direct knowledge of the team’s thinking and also from rival teams involved on the Simmons front, tell The Athletic that the 76ers are believed to prefer to wait in order to pursue Harden or another superstar in the offseason and thus want to save Simmons for that potential sign-and-trade rather than take what’s available on the current market," The Athletic reported, as quoted by Sports Illustrated.

James Harden's Future With Nets

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Harden is currently focused on helping the Nets win the NBA championship title in the 2021-22 NBA season. However, after he refused to sign a massive contract extension in Brooklyn last summer, NBA insider Marc Stein revealed in his substack that Harden is still open to leaving the Nets in the 2022 NBA offseason.

"It must be noted that there is enough noise circulating leaguewide about Harden's reported openness to relocation this summer -- after he turned down a lucrative extension from the Nets in October -- to give Morey the encouragement he needs to wait," Stein wrote, as quoted by Sports Illustrated.

Fit Alongside Joel Embiid

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Despite how things ended between them on the Houston Rockets, it wouldn't be a surprise if Morey is still interested in reuniting with Harden in the City of Brotherly Love. Harden is just the type of player that the Sixers need alongside the face of the franchise, Joel Embiid. He would give the Sixers a very reliable scoring option, an incredible playmaker, and an elite three-point shooter.

This season, Harden is averaging 22.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, 10.1 assists, and 1.3 steals while shooting 41.9 percent from the field and 33.8 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN. Sharing the floor with a legitimate three-point threat like Harden would maximize Embiid's full potential on the court as it would enable him to spend more time punishing opponents under the basket.

Why The Nets Would Make The Trade

As of now, the Nets haven't shown a single indication that they would be parting ways with Harden next summer. When the 2021-22 NBA season is officially over, the first thing that they are highly expected to do is to negotiate a new contract with Harden. However, they could change their mind about keeping Harden if he refused to ink a new deal.

Instead of losing him without getting anything in return, sending him to the Sixers would allow them to acquire a young star in Simmons. If they don't think that Simmons would fit alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, they could use him as the main trade chip to improve their core around their two superstars.

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