The rumors about potential trades involving Ben Simmons continue to come out with regularity as the Sixers try to get as much value as they can in return for the Australian. The latest update is from Shams Charania, who has revealed that Philly is willing to wait till the offseason to trade Simmons in hope of possibly landing James Harden or a superstar of that caliber.
While it would be a major coup for Philadelphia if they were able to pull it off, any deal is contingent upon Harden's interest in either extending with the Nets or moving elsewhere. And NBA analyst Bill Simmons doesn't think that the move makes sense for the Nets, tweeting about it after the report came out.
"The Ben Simmons reports are becoming more and more ludicrous. Oh Brooklyn is gonna be leaping at the chance to trade Harden for him this summer? Give me a break. You float pie-in-the-sky stuff when you have no leverage. Philly has no leverage. He’s legit damaged as a trade asset."
"Philly’s cap is over 150m next year not counting picks/minimums. It’s impossible for them to sign Harden. Brooklyn would have to say, 'Cool, we’d love to help, Division Rival, and we’ll make ourselves way worse with The Guy Who Melted Down a Year Ago Then Wouldn’t Play.'"
While Bill Simmons is correct that Brooklyn is very unlikely to go for a trade of this sort, Sixers GM Daryl Morey could be aiming to leverage his relationship with James Harden in a bid to convince the Beard to join Philly. If Harden is seen to be running out of his contract with no intention of resigning, it might just then make sense for the Nets to pull the trigger on a sing-and-trade to get Ben Simmons in return.
In any case, the Ben Simmons saga looks set to drag on for the foreseeable future unless something drastic happens ahead of the trade deadline next month. The Sixers are on an excellent run behind Joel Embiid's MVP-level performances in recent weeks and are just 2.5 games away from the 1st seed in the Eastern Conference.