James Harden traded to Philadelphia 76ers in blockbuster transfer as Ben Simmons heads to Brooklyn Nets

The headline of the day was the blockbuster commerce that noticed James Harden go to the Philadelphia 76ers and Ben Simmons journey in the wrong way to the Brooklyn Nets.

Rumors of Harden’s need to go away Brooklyn had been percolating lately, whereas Simmons hasn’t performed all season in an effort to drive a transfer away from the 76ers.

They each acquired their needs on Thursday.

Alongside Harden, the 76ers will obtain Paul Millsap, whereas the 76ers despatched Simmons, Seth Curry and Andre Drummond to Brooklyn, in addition to two first spherical draft picks.

Harden dribbles during the first half of a game against the San Antonio Spurs.

The transfer comes simply 13 months after the Nets acquired 2018 NBA MVP Harden to play alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

Nonetheless, accidents and different components — together with Irving’s Covid-19 vaccination standing, which means he might solely function intermittently — have seen the Nets’ “Massive Three” solely take to the ground 16 instances collectively.

And whereas they appeared spectacular throughout these 16 outings with Harden a free agent this summer time; the Nets determined to maneuver him on moderately than lose him for nothing or pay him an enormous contract.

Durant, who was showing on TNT’s protection of the NBA All-Star Sport draft as one of many captains, stated he was “completely satisfied we acquired guys who need to be a part of this” when requested in regards to the commerce.

He additionally made it fairly clear he did not need Harden on his All-Star group. With the choice of choosing him, Durant selected different gamers, even on his remaining decide with Harden nonetheless accessible.

“I am excited for our group,” Durant stated. “Wanting ahead to ending the season out with this new group and these new gamers. Playoffs are proper across the nook so we acquired to fast-track it to get used to one another, however I am excited.”
Harden will now be paired with Joel Embiid, who’s having a season for the ages and is likely one of the frontrunners for this yr’s NBA MVP award.

Harden, a 10-time All-Star, averages 25 factors, 5.6 rebounds and 6.7 assists over his profession.

Simmons calls to teammates during the third quarter against the Indiana Pacers on March 1, 2021.

The 76ers managing accomplice Josh Harris gushed over the 2 new arrivals in Philadelphia.

“James Harden is likely one of the actually elite gamers within the league. His profession has been outlined by unimaginable private achievement, together with honors as NBA MVP and three-time NBA scoring champion,” Harris stated.

“We’re thrilled to pair him with Joel Embiid and this dynamic roster in our pursuit of an NBA title. I’m proud to welcome James and Paul Millsap — a confirmed veteran and former All Star — to the 76ers, and may’t anticipate what the longer term holds for the town and our followers.”

For Simmons, it ends a holdout that has lasted months after he requested to be traded shortly after the 76ers misplaced to the Atlanta Hawks within the second spherical of the Japanese Convention playoffs final season.

The No. 1 general decide within the NBA draft hasn’t taken to the court docket all season however will now get the prospect to revive his profession in New York with some big-name gamers.

Over his 4 seasons within the league, Simmons has averaged 15.9 factors, 8.1 rebounds, and seven.7 assists per sport whereas taking pictures 56% and compiling 32 triple-doubles, rating 13th in NBA historical past.

Nets head coach Steve Nash stated he’s “excited to include these new guys” into his group.

“We would like him to do plenty of issues for us,” Nash stated after the Nets’ 113-112 loss in Washington on Thursday.

“I believe his reward is that he is an extremely athletic defender who’s a artistic passer, unimaginable in transition and may playmake out of decide and roll as a curler. I believe he may be dynamic for us in plenty of methods.

“I believe he suits our group very well and I believe it is actually thrilling to tackle such a gifted participant who’s able to enter the second stage of his profession and hopefully we can assist him take a bounce.”

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