With just hours left to go until the NBA's trade deadline, teams around the league are finalizing negotiations.
In the East, the big story is in Philadelphia, where Daryl Morey and the Sixers are reported to be on the cusp of a major trade.
According to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, a Ben Simmons/James Harden swap is in the works, but one key piece of the deal is stalling trade talks.
It’s always been about what the 76ers are willing to give up.
League sources have said Sixers and Brooklyn Nets are willing to swap the key pieces — the Sixers’ Ben Simmons for the Nets’ James Harden. However, the trade discussions are on the pieces that will be added to a potential deal.
The Sixers have been adamant about not packaging their young standouts Tyrese Maxey and Matisse Thybulle. The trade deadline is at 3 p.m. Thursday.
Sources say the teams spoke Thursday morning. One source said Sixers co-owner Michael Rubin is involved in the situation and that the Nets are asking for a lot.
Even without Simmons, the Sixers have a solid core of players around Joel Embiid. Guys like Seth Curry, Tyrese Maxey, and Matisse Thybulle have helped propel an impressive season and there is no question that the Sixers will have to give at least one of them up if they want Harden.
For the Nets, closing the door on the big three so soon is an instant loss, but they can come out in good shape if they're able to get a solid haul in return for their disgruntled star guard.
The question is, what are the Sixers willing to give up? The truth is, Curry, Maxey, and Thybulle may determine the fate of these talks more than Harden or Simmons.