Skip to main content

Bill Simmons Says Joel Embiid Wanted Bradley Beal At The Trade Deadline: "He Begrudgingly Accepted James Harden."

Bill Simmons Says Joel Embiid Wanted Bradley Beal At The Trade Deadline: "He Begrudgingly Accepted James Harden."

The James Harden trade certainly hasn't worked out as well as the Philadelphia 76ers would have hoped it would. Harden looks like a shell of his former self and with the exception of Game 4, in which he scored 31 points, he was pretty mediocre against the Miami Heat in the Conference Semifinals as the Sixers were eliminated in six games.

After the series, Joel Embiid tried to temper expectations, stating that Harden is no longer the player he was in Houston. Considering all the initial hype when these two teamed up, it has been a disappointing turn of events, but Bill Simmons has claimed that Embiid wasn't all that happy when the trade took place. On his podcast, Simmons said that Embiid had in fact begrudgingly accepted the Harden trade, as the Sixers couldn't land Bradley Beal:

"If there was like an 8-1, 7-1 (odds) on sign-and-trade Beal and Harden, I would bet on that. Because that’s who Embiid wanted in February, I reported it, but nobody believed me. I think that’s what they wanted all along. Beal got hurt, and begrudgingly Embiid accepted the Harden trade.”

It certainly is quite a bombshell from Simmons that the Sixers wanted Beal over Harden and one can only wonder how differently things might have panned out if that trade had taken place. As for a Harden-Beal swap, it is hard to see the Wizards accepting that offer considering what we have seen from Harden recently. They will surely find other suitors for Beal who would be willing to package some nice assets to help a rebuilding franchise.

As for Harden, this report, if it does reach him, would do no favors to his confidence. Daryl Morey has said that the team still believes in him and wants him back for next season, but with the way things ended against the Heat, they cannot be all that optimistic about what he can offer next season.