The NBA trade deadline is about a month away and any potential big trades will take place over the course of the next 30 or so days. The Sixers remain arguably the biggest players in the market as they continue to search for potential trade options for the disgruntled Ben Simmons.
Since spectacularly falling out with the organization following last season's playoffs, Simmons has become a problem for the franchise, simply refusing to play for various reasons. Although they have been looking to get a superstar in return for Ben, no teams have offered a suitable enough package for the Australian so far.
The latest rumors suggest that the Sixers may want to get Harden once they move Simmons on. According to Brian Windhorst and Marc J. Spears of ESPN, the Sixers are looking to include Tobias Harris in any potential trade for Ben so that they can clear the space to offer Harden a new contract.
Spears: "I'm hearing they want to include Tobias Harris."
Windhorst: "Me too."
"That is the word out there because they can't necessarily get an All-Star they want in return right now, as the Sixers have continued their talks, they've talked to teams about trading Tobias and Ben."
Harris has a contract till 2024 that will see him earn $37M and $39M in the final two years of the deal. Getting that big commitment off the books will need to be a priority for Philly if they are to have any hope of signing Harden as a free agent and acquiring more talent to put around a potential duo of him and Embiid.
Harden's contract ends after the 2022-23 season but he has a player option on the last year of that deal, meaning he could technically opt-out and become a free agent at the end of this current campaign. Harden refused to sign an extension that Brooklyn offered him earlier in the season but reaffirmed his intention of staying with Nets in the past. Sixers GM Daryl Morey has an existing relationship with Harden from his Houston days although James and Embiid have had some scuffles in the past.