The Philadelphia 76ers were so sure about getting James Harden, they apparently told Ben Simmons to get ready to move.
It’s almost been a week since the Rockets made a mammoth 4 team trade for James Harden. James Harden has suited up for the Nets once and recorded a 32 point triple-double for his Nets debut. The Rockets-Pacers finalized the Victor Oladipo trade a day ago as well. The 4 team trade is now officially complete.
However, the narrative isn’t the same for the Sixers. They were seeming to be the favorites in the race to get James Harden, and all of a sudden, with no prior warning, the Sixers hear the news that Harden has been traded to the Nets.
Sixers told Ben Simmons to expect a trade
The 2018 ROTY Ben Simmons has been a promising talent. He has shown exceptional performances and has been an All-Star in 2 out of his 3 seasons in the league. The biggest chink in Simmons’ armor is his shooting, and he has to consistently on it, to improve it.
Sixers thought they had a deal done with the Rockets; Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle were even informed by their agents of an expected trade, per @PompeyOnSixers
The Rockets never ended up calling the Sixers back for a Harden trade counteroffer pic.twitter.com/mxN89OZWIZ
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 17, 2021
Sources close to the Sixers say that Philly GM Daryl Morey was pushing hard to get Harden on board. Simmons and Thybulle were even informed by their agents on Wednesday of an expected trade.
What could have led Tilman Fertitta to pull the plug on the James Harden-Sixers trade?
There are two main reports for the Rockets pulling the plug on the Harden trade to the Sixers. The first report says the Sixers trade package included Ben Simmons, Matisse Thybulle, and draft compensation, but would not go so far as to include rookie Tyrese Maxey.
The Rockets were particular about getting the Sixers rookie, and it is tough to believe Philly would give up a shot at title contention for some rookie who has only played some 13 games.
The second report says the Rockets GM was heavily inclined to get Ben Simmons and the Sixers package, but the Rockets owner pulled the plug at the last moment. He did not want to trade with his former GM Daryl Morey, who runs the show over in Philly now.
Whatever the case be, Harden is now in Brooklyn, and Simmons still remains in Philadelphia.