The Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers were the two finalists in the James Harden trade sweepstakes this month.
With the resources and motive to pull off a deal, it was really just a matter of time before one eventually completed the deal for the former MVP -- and that's exactly what happened.
Last week, the Nets welcome Harden to their squad in a huge blockbuster trade that will likely see them as favorites to win the East.
But it has also left many Sixers fans wondering why their team was left in the dust.
And while there's still much we don't know about the situation, a recent report suggests the Sixers were pretty sure they were going to land James at one point, even going so far as to tell Ben Simmons he should expect to be traded...
But the Sixers thought they had a deal for Harden done, according to sources. The team won't come out and say it, but Morey pushed hard to reunite with the 2018 MVP. Simmons and Thybulle were even informed by their agents on Wednesday of an expected trade.
So what happened?
It seems like Houston was close with striking a deal with the Sixers before Rockets owner, Tilman Fertitta, stepped in at the last second to shut down the deal. Reports indicate that his broken relationship with Daryl Morey (now Sixers President) made him not want to make the deal.
Whatever the case, it never happened, and the 76ers will have to roll with their familiar one-two punch.
We'll see how it works out for them...