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Woj Report: James Harden ‘wants trade to Philadelphia 76ers’

I think it’s really happening.

Brooklyn Nets v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Philadelphia 76ers fans are in for a tense day with the 3 p.m. NBA trade deadline fast approaching. For our collective mental well-being, it would be best for something to happen sooner rather than later. I would say, though, that it’s likely things drag out until almost the last minute as the Sixers and Brooklyn Nets compete in an epic staring contest. However, we do already have a very juicy nugget this morning, courtesy of ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:

Goodbye, Brooklyn’s leverage!

From the article:

“Although Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden wants a trade to the Philadelphia 76ers, he has resisted making that formal request out of fear of the public backlash that would come with asking out of a second franchise in consecutive seasons, sources told ESPN.

Harden is hopeful that 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey secures a trade for him prior to Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET NBA trade deadline, but Morey and Nets general manager Sean Marks have yet to become engaged in serious dialogue on a deal, sources said.”

James, I don’t know what you consider a formal request. I guess you didn’t send Sean Marks a notarized telegram. But this is basically as close as it gets in today’s 24-hour-news-cycle day-and-age. I will say that Sixers fans are also hopeful Daryl Morey secures a trade for you today, so we already have that in common.

Woj goes on to report similar things we’ve been hearing this week. There are risks and rewards for both sides in doing the deal now or waiting until the summer to re-evaluate. The deal might come down to what ancillary parts are to be included outside of Ben Simmons and Harden: Seth Curry, Matisse Thybulle, draft picks, etc.

There is one additional piece of new-ish reporting:

“The Sixers have largely retreated on trade deadline deals involving Simmons until they’ve got clarity on their ability to include him in a deal for Harden, sources said.”

I think everyone already guessed this, but this all but confirms it: the Sixers are Harden-or-bust at this trade deadline. It’s a high-risk, high-reward gamble for Daryl Morey, but as his protégé once said, “In some decisions, the uncertainties are savage. You have to find a way to get comfortable with that range of outcomes.”

Undoubtedly, today will hold many emotional twists and turns for Sixers fans. But for those hoping James Harden will be on Philadelphia’s roster come late afternoon, we are off to a good start.