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11 Feb 2022

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February 11, 2022 Category: Sports Posted by:

The Philadelphia 76ers pulled off a blockbuster trade at the NBA trade deadline, sending no-show point guard Ben Simmons to the Brooklyn Nets for James Harden.

By Chris Murray
For the Philadelphia Sunday SUN

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Photo above: Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons takes part in a practice at the NBA basketball team’s facility, Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, in Camden, N.J. The Philadelphia 76ers have traded Ben Simmons to the Brooklyn Nets for James Harden as part of a multiplayer deal. The trade was confirmed by multiple people who spoke to The Associated Press Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, on condition of anonymity because the trade had not been announced. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

The Ben Simmons era in Philadelphia is over.

And Philadelphia 76ers fans throughout the Delaware Valley are saying a collective goodbye, good riddance, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

The Sixers sent Simmons, three-point specialist Seth Curry, back-up center Andre Drummond and a pair of first-round draft picks (2022 and 2027) to the Brooklyn Nets for former MVP James Harden and Paul Millsap.

Simmons fell out of favor with the Sixers and team’s fans after his lackluster performance when the 76ers lost to the Atlanta Hawks in the 2021 Eastern Conference semifinals where he struggled shooting the ball on the floor or at the foul line.

Late in the fourth quarter of Game 7, Simmons had a clear shot for a layup or dunk but instead of shooting the ball, he passed it to Matisse Thybulle rather than risk getting fouled and going to the free-throw line.

FILE – Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) is shown during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, in San Antonio. The Philadelphia 76ers have traded Ben Simmons to the Brooklyn Nets for James Harden as part of a multiplayer deal. The trade was confirmed by multiple people who spoke to The Associated Press Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, on condition of anonymity because the trade had not been announced. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

The turning point for Simmons was head coach Doc Rivers’ press conference at the end of the Atlanta series when he was asked if the team could win with Simmons as the point guard. When Rivers said he didn’t know, Simmons took those comments as the team throwing him under the bus.

In the end, Simmons’s refusal to work on his game was the thing that put him at odds with Philly sports fans.

In landing Harden before the end of the NBA’s trade deadline, the Sixers are getting a nine-time All-Star and three-time NBA scoring champ, a guy who has no problem shooting from anywhere on the court and a good compliment to center Joel Embiid who is having an MVP year.

In what might be considered a down year for the 2017-2018 MVP, Harden is still averaging 22.5 points and 10.2 assists per game. Even though he has had his playoff struggles over the years, the 33-year-old Harden is still hungry to win an NBA title.

Harden makes the 76ers better offensively because his presence and ability to score off the dribble spreads the floor and gives opposing defenses more to worry about because the Sixers have a variety of weapons.

If teams try to double-team Embiid in the low post, Harden, Tobias Harris, and Tyrese Maxey are capable of taking the ball to the basket or scoring from outside. Even Matisse Thybulle, the team’s best defender, is a scoring threat who can slash to the basket and hit outside jumpers.

The most important thing that the Sixers and their fans are most happy about is that they didn’t have to trade their two emerging stars in Maxey and Thybulle. It was widely speculated in the days leading up to the trade deadline that the only way that the Sixers were going to give up two emerging stars was to get Harden.

Somehow, Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey pulled off this trade without having to completely mortgage the Sixers’ future. That’s certainly a feather in his cap. The Sixers are hoping this move can move them closer to their first NBA title since 1983.

But there are more than a few observers of the trade that say that the Nets got the better end of the deal. For one thing, Simmons doesn’t have to be a scorer in a Nets offense that has Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Simmons will also help the Nets on the defensive end, especially in the low post.

The addition of Curry gives the Nets an outside scoring threat, something that has been missing this season with Joe Harris who has been out with an ankle injury since Nov. 14. The addition of Drummond also gives the Nets some much-needed size in the low post.

With the Nets currently on a 10-game losing streak, Simmons, Curry, and Drummond would definitely help the Nets’ Kevin Durant return from injury. Durant is going to be out for the next four weeks because of a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee and is expected to be back after the All-Star Break.

If that’s the case, there’s a strong possibility that the Sixers and the Nets could be on a collision course in the postseason. That’s the danger of making such a high-profile trade within your own conference. It’s going to come back to bite one of these teams.

The Sixers are 32-22 and are in the fifth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference standings. The Nets are now 29-27 and are the eighth spot in the playoff race.

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The Philadelphia 76ers pulled off a blockbuster trade at the NBA trade deadline, sending no-show point guard Ben Simmons to the Brooklyn Nets for James Harden.

By Chris Murray
For the Philadelphia Sunday SUN

The Ben Simmons era in Philadelphia is over.

And Philadelphia 76ers fans throughout the Delaware Valley are saying a collective goodbye, good riddance, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

The Sixers sent Simmons, three-point specialist Seth Curry, back-up center Andre Drummond and a pair of first-round draft picks (2022 and 2027) to the Brooklyn Nets for former MVP James Harden and Paul Millsap.

Simmons fell out of favor with the Sixers and team’s fans after his lackluster performance when the 76ers lost to the Atlanta Hawks in the 2021 Eastern Conference semifinals where he struggled shooting the ball on the floor or at the foul line.

Late in the fourth quarter of Game 7, Simmons had a clear shot for a layup or dunk but instead of shooting the ball, he passed it to Matisse Thybulle rather than risk getting fouled and going to the free-throw line.

The turning point for Simmons was head coach Doc Rivers’ press conference at the end of the Atlanta series when he was asked if the team could win with Simmons as the point guard. When Rivers said he didn’t know, Simmons took those comments as the team throwing him under the bus.

In the end, Simmons’s refusal to work on his game was the thing that put him at odds with Philly sports fans.

In landing Harden before the end of the NBA’s trade deadline, the Sixers are getting a nine-time All-Star and three-time NBA scoring champ, a guy who has no problem shooting from anywhere on the court and a good compliment to center Joel Embiid who is having an MVP year.

In what might be considered a down year for the 2017-2018 MVP, Harden is still averaging 22.5 points and 10.2 assists per game. Even though he has had his playoff struggles over the years, the 33-year-old Harden is still hungry to win an NBA title.

Harden makes the 76ers better offensively because his presence and ability to score off the dribble spreads the floor and gives opposing defenses more to worry about because the Sixers have a variety of weapons.

If teams try to double-team Embiid in the low post, Harden, Tobias Harris, and Tyrese Maxey are capable of taking the ball to the basket or scoring from outside. Even Matisse Thybulle, the team’s best defender, is a scoring threat who can slash to the basket and hit outside jumpers.

The most important thing that the Sixers and their fans are most happy about is that they didn’t have to trade their two emerging stars in Maxey and Thybulle. It was widely speculated in the days leading up to the trade deadline that the only way that the Sixers were going to give up two emerging stars was to get Harden.

Somehow, Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey pulled off this trade without having to completely mortgage the Sixers’ future. That’s certainly a feather in his cap. The Sixers are hoping this move can move them closer to their first NBA title since 1983.

But there are more than a few observers of the trade that say that the Nets got the better end of the deal. For one thing, Simmons doesn’t have to be a scorer in a Nets offense that has Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Simmons will also help the Nets on the defensive end, especially in the low post.

The addition of Curry gives the Nets an outside scoring threat, something that has been missing this season with Joe Harris who has been out with an ankle injury since Nov. 14. The addition of Drummond also gives the Nets some much-needed size in the low post.

With the Nets currently on a 10-game losing streak, Simmons, Curry, and Drummond would definitely help the Nets’ Kevin Durant return from injury. Durant is going to be out for the next four weeks because of a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee and is expected to be back after the All-Star Break.

If that’s the case, there’s a strong possibility that the Sixers and the Nets could be on a collision course in the postseason. That’s the danger of making such a high-profile trade within your own conference. It’s going to come back to bite one of these teams.

The Sixers are 32-22 and are in the fifth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference standings. The Nets are now 29-27 and are the eighth spot in the playoff race.

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