The Nets are open to trade discussions surrounding James Harden.
For the second consecutive season, the Brooklyn Nets might make the biggest splash on the trade market. A little more than one year after trading for James Harden, the Nets might be shipping him down I-95 to Philadelphia for Ben Simmons.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Nets and Sixers are open to discussing a trade centered around these two players:
“With the NBA trade deadline just days away on Feb. 10, the 76ers are expected to pursue Harden in the coming days and the Nets are believed to be open to discussing a deal, sources with knowledge of the situation tell The Athletic.”
Although Charania notes that the Nets believe in the current group they have, it’s not crazy to engage in trade discussions. After all, there are reports that Harden is unhappy with his current situation. Taxes, weather, Steve Nash, and Kyrie Irving are all reported gripes of Harden’s.
When that report came out, it made sense to keep Harden. The Nets were double-digit games above .500 and in a position to grab a top-three spot in the Eastern Conference. Brooklyn still does not have a win since that report came out and they are dropping in the standings like a lead balloon.
In fact, the Nets are just 1.5 games out of the Play-In Tournament. Not the best spot to be for an oft-injured team.
Does Harden for Simmons Make Sense?
It’s a cop-out answer, but yes and no. This makes sense in the long-term because Simmons is locked up for longer, he’s a top-notch defender with elite versatility, and this deal will likely bring at least one or two effective role players.
However, this doesn’t make sense in the short term because Brooklyn’s best chance at winning a championship this year is with Harden — if his heart is into it.
A part-time Kyrie Irving combined with an unmotivated James Harden will result in an overworked Kevin Durant.
Simmons comes with his own set of issues — playoffs, shooting, mindset, etc. However, at this particular point in time, the juice might be worth the squeeze. He might be the most versatile defender in the entire NBA. His ability to guard one through five on the inside or outside could help solidify Brooklyn’s feast-or-famine defense.
Offensively, he won’t have to be anything out of this world. He can defer to Durant and Irving late in games. Although Harden is the better overall player, it’s fair to make the argument that Simmons is the better fit for Brooklyn.
It’s newsworthy that Simmons was recently vaccinated as well.
The NBA trade deadline is Thursday, Feb. 10. Turn those Twitter notifications on.