The 76ers won the James Harden Sweepstakes
The city of Philadelphia and 76ers fans alike should be taking one big collective sigh of relief today as they team resisted temptation and avoided the franchise dooming mistake of trading for James Harden.
Harden is a player that the 76ers should have been avoiding since day one. Unfortunately that did not happen and the 76ers found themselves caught up in rumors all day yesterday surrounding a plethora of different trade packages that included names such as Ben Simmons, Tyrese Maxey, Matisse Thybulle, and presumably a a large amount of draft picks.
In the end, we watched the Houston Rockets fleece the Brooklyn Nets by acquiring four first-round picks and four pick-swaps for a 31 year old James Harden, a player who has proven time and time again how cancerous he can be to a locker room.
Thankfully for the Sixers, we have a front office, led by Daryl Morey, that is smart enough to realize that trading away 24-year old Ben Simmons and any package that includes our young draft talent such as Matisse Thybulle and Tyrese Maxey, would have sent the Sixers back into the process years by 2024.
The Nets now have Kevin Durant, who’s contract is up in 2-years, Spencer Dinwiddie, who is injured and likely out for the season, Kyrie Irving who hasn’t showed up to work in two weeks, and out-of-shape, 31 year old James Harden. They traded away Caris Levert who is set to be a star on the Pacers and Jarrett Allen, who is now a backup to Andre Drummond in Cleveland.
Brooklyn is now left with no depth and no defense. The Nets just traded away their superior depth and draft picks for two years of instability and uncertainty. They have three players in Irving, Durant, and Harden that demand the ball on offense. Even if you remove Durant from the conversation, the Nets now have one of the most unstable backcourts in the NBA with two ball-dominant guards.
The Rockets didn’t really have a choice. Harden was not going to play there any longer. With four pick-swaps, it seems like they are betting that the Nets fall apart over the next four years, similar to what happened with the Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett trade with Boston years ago. If and when this happens, those pick-swaps will actually hold some value. I believe it will happen, which just proves again how bad this trade was for the Brooklyn Nets.
Should the Sixers and the be scared of the Nets? My entire Twitter timeline is in shambles saying the Sixers championship window just got a lot smaller and we are wasting the prime years of Joel Embiid. There is no question that Joel Embiid is playing at an MVP level this season. A huge factor in his ability to progress and take his game to the next level is his supporting cast around him. Embiid (and Simmons) now have a team that benefits to both of their strengths on the court with perimeter shooting from Seth Curry, Danny Green, and a new-look, decisive Tobias Harris. They have a bench filled with youth and talent in Shake Milton, Tyrese Maxey, Matisse Thybulle, and Furkan Korkmaz, all of which are being mentored by veteran Dwight Howard, who finally gives Joel Embiid the back-up center he deserves.
Am I scared of the Brooklyn Nets? Quite the opposite. I am literally laughing in their faces at how stupid they could be to throw away everything for two years of false championship hopes. Could I be totally wrong? Absolutely but please just look at their roster and the current state of their star players and it’s safe to say the odds are in favor of me being right. Vegas loves Brooklyn and I can’t stop thinking about how bad they are going to be with literally no one outside Kevin Durant that can be trusted to perform at a high level night in and night out.
How anyone in the media can sit here and say that the Sixers missed a golden opportunity is beyond me. They won this trade by a mile and didn’t have to do anything. Ben Simmons will be perfectly fine. I can’t believe we are even considering the past week as a sample size of what he can offer to this basketball team. It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen in Philly sports in quite some time and we just got done watching the Eagles fire Doug Pederson and are currently watching the Phillies do absolutely nothing during a brutally slow offseason.
And let’s just stop with the Bradley Beal talks now. Washington doesn’t want to move him and if you think this trade was bad, just wait to see what the Wizards want in return for Beal, a player with no baggage and four years younger than James Harden.
Mandatory Credit: Yahoo Sports