The James Harden trade drama finally came to an end after the Houston Rockets traded the 2018 MVP to the Brooklyn Nets. The Philadelphia 76ers were close to acquiring Harden, but the franchise decided not to part ways with All-Star point-forward Ben Simmons.
In the Sixers’ first game following the Harden trade, the team faced the Miami Heat. Not only did Philadelphia win by 17 points, but Simmons rewarded the 76ers for not trading him to the Rockets for Harden.
The Nets have a lethal Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving
With The Beard in the fold, the Nets now have a lethal Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving. The three All-Stars can each score 30 points in their sleep and dominate the game from all three areas of the court.
There is only one ball, though, so Durant, Harden, and Irving may have trouble co-existing on the court. Nets head coach Steve Nash, who has already dealt with a lot in his rookie season, will be challenged to make this trio work in Brooklyn. Since KD, Harden, and Kyrie all need the ball to be effective, it’s going to be interesting to see if this Big 3 can work or turns into a disaster for the Nets.
Durant and Harden were teammates on the Oklahoma City Thunder, but Harden wasn’t the superstar he is now during his OKC days. A “my turn, your turn” offense would likely be awful for the Nets, as the other players on the team outside of the three future Hall of Famers would probably get upset if Durant, Harden, and Irving are the only ones touching the ball and flourishing. A lot of sacrifices will have to be made in Brooklyn for this to work. Irving, one of the most polarizing players in the NBA, may see his usage rate decrease, and it may not sit well with Uncle Drew.
All eyes will be on the Nets to see if Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving can come together and win a title. It’s either going to work flawlessly or burn down in flames. The Sixers, who had an interest in acquiring Harden from the Rockets, will move forward with their core of Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Tobias Harris, something Simmons is very pleased about.
Ben Simmons was ecstatic not to be traded from the Sixers to Houston for James Harden
According to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, Ben Simmons was ecstatic not to be traded from the Sixers to the Rockets for James Harden. The former Rookie of the Year believes he and Joel Embiid can lead Philadelphia to a championship this season.
The Sixers haven’t advanced past the second round of the playoffs with Simmons and Embiid leading the way. The two All-Stars are friends off the court, but their fit on the floor has been poor since Simmons can’t shoot the ball. Embiid often doesn’t have room to operate in the post since teams pack the paint against the Sixers due to Simmons’ inability to shoot jump shots.
While some Sixers fans are upset that Daryl Morey didn’t pull the trigger on a James Harden trade and part ways with Ben Simmons, the do-it-all swingman reminded everyone against the Heat why Philadelphia chose to keep him.
Ben Simmons recorded a triple-double against the Heat
The Sixers defeated the Heat by a final score of 125-108. Ben Simmons played 34 minutes and finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists, and three steals. While he’ll never be the scorer James Harden is, Simmons is an elite passer and defender. The hope within Philadelphia is that the lefty eventually develops an outside game to become a complete basketball player.
The Nets are projected to win the Eastern Conference since they have three high-level scorers leading the way. For the Sixers to come out of the East, Ben Simmons, and not Joel Embiid, will have to be the best player on the court at all times.