Skip to main content

Brooklyn Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers Comparison: The Nets Are Stacked, The 76ers Have The Best Duo In The NBA

Brooklyn Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers Comparison: The Nets Are Stacked, The 76ers Have The Best Duo In The NBA

After weeks of speculation, the deal is done. Three-time scoring champion and former MVP James Harden is traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in a package for Ben Simmons. There is no secret that The Beard was unhappy in Brooklyn, mainly because of the situations surrounding the team. Kyrie Irving has left the franchise high and dry after failing to get vaccinated, resulting in him being a part-time player for the majority of the season. That also means, going forward into the playoffs, Irving will not be available during home games.

With Kevin Durant also sidelined, Harden is going to have to carry a burden that is greater than what he had with Houston. The Nets roster is built around their three superstars, meaning they are top-heavy without much support other than 33-year-old Patty Mills. Not to mention, Harden looked out of shape and unhappy when he was on the court with the Nets. Instead, he has a chance to form the best little-big duo since Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal with Joel Embiid.

For Ben Simmons, he finally gets a chance to start fresh with a new franchise. Perhaps the player mostly linked with a trade over the past decade, Simmons is done with the 76ers and has a shot to form a superteam in Brooklyn with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. There is no doubt that Simmons fits perfectly with Durant and Irving on both ends of the floor, meaning the NBA landscape has just got very interesting with this blockbuster deal confirmed. With both Harden and Simmons switching teams, which team is better off with the deadline-day trade?


Starters


Brooklyn Nets

Kyrie Irving, Seth Curry, Kevin Durant, Ben Simmons, LaMarcus Aldridge

Both teams clearly have talented starting lineups with All-Star caliber players. The Nets have the superstar duo of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, but they just added a 3-time All-Star in Ben Simmons to join them. The Australian is capable of playing point guard at an elite level, giving Kyrie and Durant the possibility to play off the ball. This Big Three is simply fantastic on both ends of the floor, and are extremely versatile.

The supporting pieces are also very talented, including sharpshooter Seth Curry and former All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge. Curry is averaging a career-high 15.0 PPG on 40.0% shooting from three and will be an immediate upgrade over Joe Harris in the playoffs. Aldridge is no longer a star, but he can knock the three down and also be involved in the rotation in case Nic Claxton or Andre Drummond starts.


Philadelphia 76ers

Tyrese Maxey, James Harden, Matisse Thybulle, Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid

The 76ers have a dynamic duo that is perfect on paper because James Harden and Joel Embiid are capable of scoring anytime they want in one-on-one situations. The Beard is a willing passer and will make the game easier for Joel, perhaps making the big man even more dominant. Of course, Embiid is probably the MVP favorite at this moment as he is leading the 76ers to a top-5 seed in the East.

The rest of the lineup is well put together, especially since Philly did not give up Maxey or Thybulle. Both players are under 25 years of age and are growing on the court with the number of minutes they are getting. Tobias Harris is still on the roster despite trade rumors, and he is one of the best 3rd options in the league averaging 19.1 PPG and 7.3 RPG.


Bench


Brooklyn Nets

Patty Mills, Jevon Carter, Marcus Zegarowski, Joe Harris, Cam Thomas, Bruce Brown, David Duke Jr, Kessler Edwards, Blake Griffin, James Johnson, Andre Drummond, Nic Claxton, Day'Ron Sharpe

With the accessory additions of Seth Curry and Andre Drummond, Brooklyn’s depth chart is far more complete. Patty Mills can return to his best role as the 6th man, putting up shots anytime he has space and being an energizer bunny. With Bruce Brown and James Johnson covering the forward spots, Brooklyn are also no longer pushovers on the inside.

Griffin and Drummond were both former All-Stars that still understand the game and how to win, while Claxton has elite athleticism for his position. Overall, the Nets roster is not as top-heavy as before and have enough bodies to throw on the court to give their starters rest in games.


Philadelphia 76ers

Shake Milton, Furkan Korkmaz, Jaden Springer, Myles Powell, Isaiah Joe, Charlie Brown Jr, Danny Green, Georges Niang, Paul Reed, Paul Millsap, Charles Bassey

The 76ers depth chart certainly took a hit when they decided to bring James Harden onto the team. Losing Seth Curry, their best shooter, and Andre Drummond, their best backup big, could come back to haunt them. But it is expected that the 76ers will be in the buyout market for replacements as soon as possible.

Even with the losses, Philly have some trustworthy bench players including Shake Milton, Furkan Korkmaz, Georges Niang, and Danny Green. While none of these players are worthy of being starters or playing heavy minutes in important games, they have 3-and-D capabilities. As things stand, the Nets bench is certainly deeper.


Brooklyn Nets Advantages

The Nets have a deeper roster with the James Harden trade, and an improved defense. Nobody will mistake Harden for a defensive stopper, while Simmons is one of the best all-around defenders in the NBA. The 6’11” defensive star makes the Nets very formidable on defense, especially when bolstered by the length of Kevin Durant and the size of Andre Drummond.

The Nets will be able to get stops more frequently with Simmons on the court, and also give Durant and Irving the control to score the ball as they please. Perhaps the presence of Harden would have confused the offense at times, and Simmons can almost be as solid as the Beard in terms of playmaking. With a deeper bench and a Big Three that fits together, the Nets have a more complete lineup.


Philadelphia 76ers Advantages

The 76ers have the advantage in Joel Embiid, perhaps the most dominant big man in the game. The Cameroonian star is having an MVP-caliber season by putting up 29.4 PPG, 10.9 RPG, and 4.3 APG on 49.8% shooting from the field. The center can score and rebound with the best players in the league, and whenever he has a guard that can get him the ball, he is very potent.

Embiid will most likely dominate the matchups with the Nets because very few teams have the bigs that can handle the 5-time All-Star down low. Of course, Harden is an upgrade over Simmons, like-for-like. James is a better scorer and one-on-one player who will not have the playoff struggles that Simmons has, which is exactly what the Sixers needed.


Which Team Is Better And More Likely To Win A 7-Game Series?

Both teams improved by swapping players because they each got what they truly needed. The Nets needed a defensive star who can also carry an offense with playmaking, while the 76ers needed a guard that complements Embiid on the court. Even though James Harden is a better player than Ben Simmons in terms of production, the Nets might have got the better of the deal.

Simmons can play point guard or point-forward with ease and can defend all five positions when asked to. As a 6’11” gifted athlete, he can run the floor with Durant and Irving and also do all the dirty work including crashing the boards. The additions of Seth Curry and Andre Drummond also greatly benefit the team, because they have also added shooting and size while getting rid of an unhappy Harden.

The 76ers had to make the move to get Harden because he might be the best possible partner for Embiid other than Damian Lillard. Harden is a game-changer because Philly have been looking for an All-Star guard that can shoot for years. Their biggest issue has been the fact that Simmons and Embiid do not fit together, and that has held the team back. It remains to be seen if Harden and Embiid will jell, but they got the best player given the fact Simmons has to go.

But which team is better following the deal, and which is most likely to win a 7-game series? The answer has to be the Brooklyn Nets. They have the best player in Kevin Durant, possibly the most dominant offensive player in the game, and are also giving him plenty of help. Simmons is similar to Durant in build, except he adds power with defensive capabilities and playmaking. Kyrie is not capable of being the best player on a championship team, but as a second or third option, he is Hall of Fame-worthy.

Brooklyn also added size with Andre Drummond, a key weakness of theirs before the deal. Seth Curry is one of the best shooters in the NBA, adding to the list of shot-makers that includes Joe Harris and Patty Mills. As an all-around squad, the Nets are deeper and more potent than the 76ers.

Philadelphia cannot count on Joel Embiid staying healthy, meaning Harden might have to carry a large burden once again. Will he be happy if Embiid is forced to sit out games? Tyrese Maxey is only 21 years old and Thybulle is an offensive liability at this point of his career. Of course, Philadelphia’s bench is looking empty. With all these “ifs” with the roster, Brooklyn have the better team and have more talent to win a 7-game series.

While it is unlikely that either team win a championship this year because chemistry cannot be built in less than half a season, the Nets are the better all-around team than the 76ers. Of course, the buyout market could change things for Philadelphia because they will need Daryl Morey to make the finishing touches. 

Next

NBA Small Forward Tiers: 37-Year Old LeBron James Is Still The Best In The League

LeBron James's Career Record vs. NBA Superstars: Stephen Curry And Tim Duncan Are The King's Kryptonite

The Last 40 Rookies Of The Year: Michael Jordan, LeBron James, And Shaquille O'Neal Started Their Incredible Careers Winning This Award

NBA Players With The Most 30+ Points Per Game Seasons: Michael Jordan Proved Once Again Why He Is The Best Scorer Ever

Michael Jordan's Career High Against Every NBA Team: The GOAT Destroyed The Cleveland Cavaliers