Ben Simmons for James Harden? Probably not.
After weeks and weeks of speculation, both Adrian Wojnarowski (ESPN) and Shams Charania (The Athletic) dropped a bomb in regards to the James Harden/Ben Simmons trade rumors. Despite the Sixers previously stating that Simmons was not up for grabs – both Woj and Shams reported otherwise, making the claim that Philly had in fact offered Simmons to the Houston Rockets.
While this report initially sent shockwaves through the NBA, the Sixers were quick to deny its legitimacy. In a statement that he made to The Athletic and Stadium, Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey once again reiterated that Simmons was apart of the team’s future.
There’s obviously a ton to unpack here – as we’re receiving all sorts of conflicting reports. On a base level, this feels like a “leverage play” from the Houston Rockets. Their front office has failed to orchestrate a Harden trade thus far, and by “leaking” info that the Sixers have offered Simmons, it hypothetically increases Harden’s value to other teams.
Considering the fact that the Rockets were also reported to have begun trade talks with teams not named Philadelphia or Brooklyn earlier this morning, and this theory checks out. Morey explicitly coming out and saying that the Sixers wouldn’t be trading away Simmons is definitely significant – as him backtracking on that statement would rub a lot of people within the Sixers organization the wrong way.
Ultimately speaking, despite the flurry of reports that initially dropped, it feels like Simmons still isn’t going anywhere. The Sixers have worked extremely hard to build a roster that caters to Simmons‘ and Embiid’s needs, and it’d make little sense to give up on that experiment before even seeing it take form in the regular season.
Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire
David is a 20 year old college student at the University of Maryland. A lifelong Philadelphia sports fan who started covering the teams back in late May of 2019. After just a few months of writing for fun on a personal blog, he now reports on the 76ers for PhillySportsNetwork.com and the Phillies for Fansided.com.