After months and months of rumors, speculation, and general misery, the Sixers have finally moved Ben Simmons as Daryl Morey reunites with James Harden. Simmons will be heading to Brooklyn as the centerpiece of the deal. He will also be joined by Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, and two first-round picks. Along with Harden comes veteran Paul Milsap from Brooklyn.
There are two major stories to be found in this news:
First, Ben Simmons is finally gone, and the city of Philadelphia has collectively breathed a sigh of relief that it is finally over. The Ben Simmons trade saga has been the latest and most intense, in a long line of ludicrous dramatic issues to face the 76ers. From the NBA forcing out Sam Hinke for the Colangelo’s to the Markelle Fultz debacle (to name a couple), the Simmons trade saga has stood above all others as the most insane story yet from Philadelphia. For it to finally be over is a dream come true for Sixers fans.
Second, the acquisition of James Harden cannot be understated. Even during his current “down” season, James Harden instantly becomes the best player Joel Embiid has ever played with. Harden is quite literally the dream acquisition for Philly. His ability to both shoot and score, to facilitate among the best in the league (second in the NBA), and rebound (eight per game) are all needs for the Philadelphia 76ers. With the two-headed monster of Joel Embiid and James Harden, plus Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris, the Philadelphia 76ers are on a pathway to legitimate contention in the Eastern Conference. The Sixers finally have a triple-double threat who will shoot the ball.
Currently sitting as the fifth seed in the East, the Sixers are only two games out of the top spot. With 28 games remaining this season, there is plenty of time to catch up. Additionally, with Harden now on the roster, the Sixers can afford to rest Embiid a bit more often, keeping his fresher for the NBA playoffs.
Things in Philly are looking much brighter than even a few days prior. The Philadelphia 76ers now have their second star, Daryl Morey has his man, and Joel Embiid has his running mate. Now, it’s time to get to work and show that trading for Harden was the right move.