After trade rumors surfaced in recent months, Ben Simmons is reportedly ecstatic to remain with the Philadelphia 76ers.
The James Harden-Houston Rockets dramatic saga finally reached its conclusion on Wednesday night, as they completed a blockbuster four-team trade that sent the disgruntled superstar to the Brooklyn Nets. For the past month, reports indicated that the Philadelphia 76ers were interested in Harden’s services, but nothing came to pass after the Rockets asked for guard Ben Simmons in exchange.
According to ESPN’s Marc Spears, Simmons was happy to not be sent to the Rockets, because he believes he can win an NBA title with the 76ers.
Hearing Ben Simmons was pretty ecstatic to not be traded from the Sixers to Houston for James Harden and believes his team is capable of bringing a title to Philadelphia. Doc Rivers is also a huge fan of Simmons and believes the best is yet to come with two-time NBA All-Star.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) January 13, 2021
Sixers don’t bite on trade demands
While Harden would’ve been a huge addition for the 76ers, the asking price was reportedly too much for general manager Daryl Morey.
On Wednesday, the 76ers were finalists alongside the Nets to make an enticing deal for Harden. According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Rockets were focused on a trade package that was highlighted by Simmons and rookie Tyrese Maxey, but the 76ers wanted to hold onto their rookie guard. Ultimately, the Nets were willing and able to surrender their future to build the next three-man superteam.
In exchange for Harden, the Rockets received Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum, Rodions Kurucs, four first-round picks from Brooklyn (two in 2022, one in 2024, one in 2026), and four first-round pick swaps with Brooklyn (2021, 2023, 2025, 2027) in the four-team trade including the Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers.
The 76ers are currently in second-place in the Eastern Conference this season, and appear to be in good shape to make a deeper run in the NBA Playoffs than they did this past summer in the Orlando bubble. As mentioned by Spears, head coach Doc Rivers is a big fan of Simmons, which obviously played a role in the 76ers opting out of the Harden sweepstakes.
Through ten games this season, Simmons has averaged 12.6 points, 8.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists while shooting 51.6-percent from the field and 50.0-percent from the three-point line.
Let the record show that there’s no one in happier that the 76ers didn’t acquire Harden than Simmons himself.