Former first overall pick, Ben Simmons, hasn’t played a single game for the 76ers this year, praying for a departure from the team. Just hours before Thursday’s trade deadline, Ben’s wish got granted getting traded to the Brooklyn Nets in return for James Harden.
Philadelphia sent their disgruntled All-Star guard, Ben Simmons, along with Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, and two first-round picks(unprotected 2022 first-round pick and a top-8-protected 2027 first-round pick) in a trade package to Brooklyn for James Harden and Paul Millsap.
The megadeal will break up the Big Three of Harden, Durant and Irving, but the addition of the 6’10 25-year old guard will surely improve the Brooklyn Nets. Ben is probably the best defender in the league, being able to guard all 5 positions at an elite level and will consistently fill the stat lines with double-doubles. Seth Curry is shooting a fantastic 40 percent from 3-point range, making him just what the Nets needed coming with Simmons, who doesn’t shoot the ball well. Andre Drummond’s veteran leadership to young center Nicolas Claxton will be critical going deep into the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the relationship between Harden and the Nets broke down in recent days, with sources telling NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski that Harden had declined to formally ask for a trade, fearing the backlash of doing so for the second time in a little more than a year. This left the perfect window for Daryl Morey and the 76ers to get their man. The 76ers are getting an MVP-worthy year out of Joel Embiid, and now paired with former MVP James Harden, Philly may now have the best duo in the NBA. Paul Millsap is still a solid scorer in the NBA and will lighten the load for Joel going down the stretch of the season.
With both teams hitting the reset button in the best way, who’s now the big dog in the east, the Bucks, Nets, Bulls, or 76ers?