Nets-Sixers: Harden leaves Brooklyn and is heading to Philadelphia

Brooklyn Nets James Harden (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets James Harden (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) /

What’s next after the NBA blockbuster trade between the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers?

The trade that everyone was waiting for. James Harden got what he wanted and he’s out of Brooklyn after 80 games played with the Nets. The beard in Philly means that the first overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft Ben Simmons will be heading to Brooklyn to play with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.

 Nets traded: 

  • James Harden (PG/SG)
  • Paul Milsap (PF)

Sixers traded: 

  • Ben Simmons (PG)
  • Seth Curry (PG/SG)
  • Andre Drummond (C)
  • An unprotected 2022 first-round pick
  • A protected 2027 first-round pick

If you asked me a month and a half ago if I thought the Nets were going to trade James Harden, I’d say “absolutely not”. I guess something changed in that span of time and Harden was no longer happy with Brooklyn. He will take his talents to Philadelphia and join superstar center Joel Embid and the rest of the Sixers team that remains.

The 76ers got fleeced in this deal. Clearly, they wanted Simmons gone so he was always a part of the potential trade that eventually happened. Rumors were circulating on who would end up coming over with Simmons in the trade. Seth Curry and Andre Drummond were the answer to that.

The winners of this trade in my eyes are no doubt the Brooklyn Nets. James Harden right now is not worth two first-round draft picks. That makes you think that Philly must value Harden very highly. Five years ago when Harden was MVP of the league I’d say he’s worth two, maybe even three first-round draft picks depending on who you ask. It’s a deal that favors both sides. The 76ers wanted Harden, and he wanted out of Brooklyn, and to be in Philly.

Looking forward for the Philadelphia 76ers:

Daryl Morey and the rest of the 76ers front office were working hard to get this deal made. They valued James Harden highly and now they have their superstar tandem in Philly. Harden leaves with just under one full seasons worth of games played for Brooklyn and he also leaves behind a nine-game losing streak that the Nets are currently on.

The Nets also sent over Paul Milsap who was looking to get traded because he was not happy with the minutes he was playing.

Was the beard just sitting on the bench to only further the point that he wanted out of Brooklyn?

Don’t forget that tonight is the NBA All-Star draft show where Kevin Durant is captain of the East team. James Harden was selected as one of the alternate players this year. Is Durant going to have something to say to Harden tonight or will there be no bad blood going forward?

Potential starting lineup for the 76ers:

PG: Tyrese Maxey

SG: James Harden

SF: Matisse Thybulle

PF: Tobias Harris

C: Joel Embiid

Looking forward for the Brooklyn Nets 

The Nets rollercoaster season continues and now the team has some fresh faces in the locker room. Philly was able to get rid of Ben Simmons which was something that was not a matter of if, but of when it was going to happen. Joining Simmons in the trade are Seth Curry and Andre Drummond.

I am very surprised that the 76ers wanted to trade Curry. He is currently averaging the best numbers of his career and I thought he was playing very well for Philly. The two-time All-Star Andre Drummond is great for the Nets in my opinion. He doesn’t score at a high rate but he is a presence on the glass and he is always fighting for rebounds.

Brooklyn is in rough shape still without KD till sometime after All-Star weekend and Kyrie Irving still only being able to play in away games. I think Ben Simmons can help the Nets get back on track and win some games. He has not played in an NBA game since June 20, 2021, but I don’t think that should impact him too heavily. He is a pro and I’m sure he has still been training and staying in game-ready shape.

The most important factor that Simmons will bring to the Nets is his ability to play defense. That is something that Nets have been lacking while Durant has been out. Brooklyn does not play awful team defense, but Simmons upgrades that side of the game for them significantly. Drummond will also be a factor on defense and Seth Curry can help an offense that has been struggling to score as well.

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Potential starting lineup for the Nets (when everyone is healthy):

PG: Ben Simmons

SG: Kyrie Irving

SF: Kevin Durant

PF: LaMarcus Aldridge

C: Andre Drummond