The eight-time All-Star has been reportedly traded to the Brooklyn Nets.
In addition to all of the draft compensation they'll be receiving, the Rockets are landing two-time All-Star Victor Oladipo from the Pacers.
From The Athletic's Shams Charania, here are the current terms of the deal:
Sources: Full current trade:
Rockets: Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum, Rodions Kurucs, 3 BKN first-rounders (22, 24, 26), 1 MIL first (22, unprotected), 4 BKN 1st round swaps (21, 23, 25, 27)
Nets: James Harden
Pacers: Caris LeVert, 2nd-rounder
Cavs: Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 13, 2021
The Sixers were reportedly one of two finalists in the Harden sweepstakes. Given president of basketball operations Daryl Morey’s relationship with Harden, the team's involvement was unsurprising. Morey traded for Harden in 2012 and built the Rockets around him during their time together in Houston before leaving the organization in October and accepting the Sixers job.
The New York Times’ Marc Stein reported Wednesday that Houston was pursuing a package headlined by Ben Simmons and Tyrese Maxey, with the Sixers “also known to covet” veteran Rockets forward PJ Tucker.
Morey in December told The Athletic’s Shams Charania that the Sixers were not trading Ben Simmons, and he ended up sticking to those words. The 24-year-old Simmons, who returned Wednesday after a two-game absence due to left knee swelling, has averaged 12.6 points, 8.5 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.1 blocks per game this season. He was an All-Defensive First Team selection and a member of the All-NBA Third Team for the 2019-20 campaign.
Since joining the Sixers, Morey has been highly enthusiastic in his remarks about the pairing of Simmons and Joel Embiid. He said on draft night that the two stars “are going to be here a long time.”
The Sixers started this season 7-2 before being heavily impacted by the league’s health and safety protocols after Seth Curry tested positive for COVID-19. Morey hasn’t had much time to assess the Sixers’ roster, and he evidently decided it made sense to stick with what he has for now.