As the NBA preseason begins tonight Philadelphia ranks as the most likely destination when the Rockets eventually reach the point of trading James Harden, league sources say— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) December 11, 2020
We are now just a few days away from the Sixers playing basketball on TV yet again. While most of the attention should be on the upcoming preseason/season, The New York Times’ NBA insider, Marc Stein, decided to drop a huge bit of news Thursday afternoon on Twitter in regards to a certain bearded NBA player.
While we’ve documented all of the James Harden to Philly news, this rumor was a bit of a surprise, at least to me. It really seemed/seems like the Rockets were going to retain Harden for the time being and hold out for better deals on the marketplace. It was speculated by many that the rumors involving Harden would die down, for a bare minimum of a few weeks. But here we are discussing yet another rumor involving Harden and the Philadelphia 76ers.
We are at the beginning of the NBA season after all every team has ambitions and a ton of hope in their new rosters. Making trades during this time isn’t always something teams feel they need to do...yet.
I have great news for the #KeepSimmons crowd too. It seems like the Sixers wouldn’t include him in a trade for Harden, at least not yet. Stein also went on to tweet this detail:
The Rockets insist (for now) they will not trade Harden. The Sixers insist (for now) they will not trade Ben Simmons— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) December 11, 2020
But sources say the familiarity between the front offices can ultimately defuse any lingering tension from Daryl Morey's departure from Houston to Philadelphia
So we have both sides being adamant in retaining their respective All-Star players. A Harden for Simmons swap would make a lot of sense for both sides, but it was recently reported that the Sixers’ front office, along with Doc Rivers, are very sold on the idea of keeping Simmons and Joel Embiid together for the time being. Rivers even went on to say that none of the rumors circulating were coming from the Sixers’ side of things in a presser.
Doc Rivers says the Sixers like their team.— Tom West (@TomWestNBA) December 8, 2020
"Those [Harden trade] rumors, none of those are coming from us."
The “(for now)” part of this shouldn’t be overlooked, either. Harden’s time in Houston hasn’t gotten any better, and there’s no reason to believe otherwise in that regard. It’s a real possibility that Daryl Morey could be holding out on including Simmons in trade negotiations to lower the massive asking price.
The biggest detail of this entire report is the ending paragraph in this mini thread. Rumors and reports came out from many sides saying that there was tension between Daryl Morey and the Rockets Owner Tillman Fertitta in regards to how Morey left the franchise just a few months ago. This is the first report that’s come out in which their history is being mentioned as a benefit instead of a drawback. This could be great news from the Sixers’ side of things depending on your perspective on a star-swap.
The James Harden trade saga will continue on for the time being. Will the Sixers ever be willing to put Simmons into a deal that can land them the former MVP? Will the Rockets’ situation continue to meltdown to the point of no return? These are all questions that might be answered sooner rather than later. We will keep you updated on this story.