BROOKLYN, NY — Hours before the NBA trade deadline was about to pass, the blockbuster trade involving James Harden for Ben Simmons finally went down.
Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojarnowski, the Brooklyn Nets are sending the 2017-2018 NBA MVP Harden to Philadelphia for Simmons.
The deal, pending league approval, involves the aforementioned Harden while also including Paul Millsap will send the two to Philly for Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two first round picks.
It is no big secret that both players were unhappy in their current situations in Brooklyn and Philadelphia. In the case of Simmons, his reluctance to shoot is more noteworthy than his All-World defense that he plays.
In Brooklyn, Simmons will be able to lock down on the opposing team’s best scorer. How he will pair up with Kyrie Irving, remains to be seen, however the hidden gem in this mega-deal may actually be Seth Curry, as he likely will become the new part-time point guard running things for Steve Nash’s crew, due to Irving’s vaccination status.
For the Sixers, the franchise finally rid themselves of the proverbial migraine that was Simmons, however it seems the franchise is getting a bigger one in Harden, who is now on his third team in five years, following stops in Houston, the aforementioned Nets and now Philadelphia.
While he was never vocal about wanting to leave Brooklyn, his effort and body language on the court spoke volumes. Now in Philly playing alongside, arguably the league’s best big man—and MVP front runner—in Joel Embiid, the time is now for Harden to finally escape the shadows of his own selfishness.
If Harden can replicate his early career success of working with big men, like he did with Clint Capela down in H-Town, then the Sixers may have captured lightning in a bottle. A Harden-Embiid pick-and-roll is bound to put the fear of God into all teams.
The time is now for both Harden and Simmons. No more excuses. Both players got their wish in getting out of their old situation. Hopefully, both will finally be able to live up to their marquee names.