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#pounditSaturday, April 17, 2021

76ers reportedly not willing to trade Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons

The Philadelphia 76ers are one of two teams that James Harden reportedly wants to play for, but they might have to give up Ben Simmons if they want to acquire the former MVP. They are apparently unwilling to do that at the moment.

Shams Charania of The Athletic expressed skepticism on Monday that the Houston Rockets will be able to work out a trade with either team Harden supposedly wants to play for — the Sixers or Brooklyn Nets. He said the Rockets are uninterested in any deal with the Nets that doesn’t include Kyrie Irving or Kevin Durant. Houston would also want Simmons from the Sixers, and that’s not happening.

“Unless they’re putting in Ben Simmons, which I’m told they’re not inclined to do right now, I don’t see a deal structure that makes sense for Philly,” Charania said. “The Sixers and Nets are going to have to see if they can cobble a deal together.”

If the Rockets decide to give Harden what he wants, a trade to the Nets that includes Irving or Durant won’t make any sense. Harden has reportedly decided he wants to play for Brooklyn because he believes Houston’s championship window has closed and he can win a title with Irving and Durant. He probably wouldn’t want to play for the Nets if Irving or Durant were part of the trade.

The Rockets are said to be committed to both Harden and Russell Westbrook, but things can change in a hurry during the NBA offseason. The amount of money Harden reportedly turned down shows how bad he wants out of Houston. He may eventually get his way if he pushes hard enough.

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