The drama surrounding James Harden and the Houston Rockets has been well-documented. From his first trade request to not showing up on time for training camp to missing a few preseason games, it’s clear that he ants out of the organization.
He has put together a list of teams he would like to be traded to, mostly in the Eastern Conference, and he has the Philadelphia 76ers on that list as they are a team in title contention. In order to get a superstar like Harden, the Sixers would have to give up one of Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid and the team has been pretty adamant on not wanting to move one of them just yet.
Per Sam Amick of The Athletic, the team really does want to see what Simmons and Embiid can achieve under the new direction of coach Doc Rivers as well as the new additions surrounding them.
Sources say the Sixers want to see what new coach Doc Rivers can do with this new roster and have no urgency to pay anything more than a discount-aisle price for Harden anytime soon. Translation: Two-time All-Star and third-team All-NBA selection Ben Simmons remains off-limits, and these next few weeks will be spent evaluating this revamped group.
They’re legitimately excited and optimistic about what these changes might bring.
This does make a lot of sense. Simmons is one of the top players in the NBA and he is a guy who can do so many things out on the basketball court. At this point, he has to be able to be given a chance under Rivers and the addition of a ton of shooters to help the offense run smoothly.
On the flip side, if he and the team get off to a slow start, then those Harden trade rumors will grow a little louder. If a team has a chance to grab one of the best players in the game and they believe he is the missing piece to a title, then moves have to be made.
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