Simmons heads to Brooklyn in swap for Harden

What the 76ers would do with Ben Simmons was the talk of the NBA. Simmons, who requested a trade and did not play a game with the Philadelphia 76ers this season, was finally dealt Thursday before the NBA trade deadline, and it appears 76ers GM Daryl Morey got his man. 

Philadelphia sent Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, a 2022 first-round pick, and a 2027 first-round pick to Brooklyn for James Harden and Paul Millsap. The 25-year-old Simmons could reportedly join the Nets in Miami as the team is currently on a two-game road trip.

Back to the trade, the 2027 first-round pick is protected for selections 1-8. Should it not convey in 2027, it becomes a 2028 first-round pick, protected selections 1-8. If the pick does not convey in the first round of the 2028 NBA Draft, it becomes a 2028 second-round pick and cash consideration. 

“James Harden is one of the truly elite players in the league. His career has been defined by incredible personal achievement, including honors as NBA MVP and three-time NBA scoring champion,” Philadelphia 76ers Managing Partner Josh Harris said. 

This season, Harden is averaging 22.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 10.2 assists (second in the NBA) in 37.0 minutes per contest across 44 games (all starts), making him the only player this season with such averages.

This will go down as a deal where both teams will benefit. Philadelphia needed a guy that can score off the dribble at an elite level, and the 32-year-old Harden is that guy, while Brooklyn needed an elite defender, and they got that and a lot more with Simmons.

Philadelphia must go for it now with the uncertainty with Joel Embiid’s health.

It was not supposed to end this way for Simmons in Philly. The number one pick in the 2016 NBA Draft became a three-time All-Star with the 76ers, and he and Embiid were supposed to bring a title to Philly, but quite frankly, it was never a perfect fit on the court.

Unfortunately, in Game 7 against the Hawks in the playoffs, Simmons passed up a dunk, and at that point, his time in Philadelphia was pretty much up. 

We’ll see how much time it takes for Simmons to get back on the court. Remember, he has not played a game this season, so it might take time for him to get right. Brooklyn is scheduled to play the 76ers in Philly on March 10. Will Simmons be prepared in a month? Who knows, but it would be fun if it were to happen. 

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