With less than 24 hours before the NBA trade deadline, things are getting interesting in Brooklyn.
On Wednesday morning, it was reported that the Sixers and Nets were engaged in talks regarding Ben Simmons and James Harden, who have been at the center of the NBA rumor mill of late.
In a bizarre and contradictory follow-up report, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski denied that the two teams were involved in any negotiations, adding a layer of doubt to the whole situation.
Still, no matter what is happened between the two teams, it could still be true that Harden, a 9x All-Star, is keen on donning a Sixers jersey. In fact, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, Harden is pushing hard for a move to the 'City of Brotherly Love.'
“You gotta be very careful using the ‘q word’ or saying whatever but his actions over the past 10 days are basically a threat to the Nets.
James Harden, until he hurt his hamstring in a game in the first quarter last Spring and had to leave the game in the first quarter, he had scored in double figures in 450 consecutive games. He’s one of the greatest scorers in NBA history. After he got healthy from that, he then had a streak of 44 consecutive games (scoring double figures).
Last week in Sacramento, he played 37 minutes and scored 4 points. And that doesn’t even articulate the effort level he gave on defense in that game. Then he basically shut it down for the rest of that road trip and he is screaming in every way he possibly can ‘I don’t want to be here, get me out of here.’ Just like he did in Houston.”
And so what the real issue here for the Nets is not the consequences of making this deal, it’s the consequences of not making this deal. If they don’t do this trade, what is James Harden going to do the rest of this season? And then, of course, what is he going to do when he becomes a free agent in the Summer? That’s what has spurred this into being. James Harden’s basic feeling that ‘I don’t want to be here anymore.'”
When Harden came to the Nets in 2021, it was under the assumption he'd be playing alongside Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant to dominate the East.
Since his arrival, Durant has been in and out of the lineup while Irving has missed most of this season due to his failure to meet vaccine protocols. It's a situation that Harden did not sign up for.
And now, with the chance to start fresh in a new city alongside MVP candidate Joel Embiid, Harden is finding it tough to stay loyal to the Nets.
It will be interesting to see how the story develops over the next few hours.