Former Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden has been traded to the Philadelphia 76ers for Ben Simmons. Rumors of a potential deal began to swirl early in the week and were fueled by Harden’s “hamstring injury.” The deal was announced one hour before the NBA’s trade deadline (Feb. 10) at 3 p.m. ET. The trade officially puts an end to the Simmons saga in Philly.
After last season’s embarrassing playoff exit, Ben Simmons has refused to play for the 76ers all season and demanded a trade during training camp. When the 76ers rebuffed his demand, Simmons cited mental health concerns as his reasoning and has since faced numerous fines and forfeited much of his salary this season.
The move to Brooklyn now provides Simmons a fresh new start along with the offensive firepower to balance out his shooting struggles. The Australian-born star, 25, is a staunch defender and many believe he will thrive next to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. The Nets also get a young star in the making to level out their veteran roster.
As for Harden, joining this year’s MVP-frontrunner Joel Embiid provides him a consistent co-star who will provide him the stability he lacked in Brooklyn. Durant has been sidelined with a foot injury, leaving Harden to rely on Irving. However, at the start of the season, Irving chose to remain unvaccinated despite New York City’s COVID-19 mandate. As a result, Irving has been allowed to become a part-time player, only being available for away games.
The move to Philly also brings Harden closer to his friend, Philly’s own Meek Mill who frequents Sixers home games with owner Michael Rubin. In the aftermath of the news, Twitter users along with Meek, reflected on the massive NBA trade. Check out people’s reactions below!