Nets Finally Pull Off Blockbuster Trade for Sixers Star Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons, James Harden, Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Sixers

Getty Ben Simmons during the 2021 playoffs.

The Brooklyn Nets are trading James Harden and Paul Millsap to the Philadelphia 76ers for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and future draft picks, according to multiple reports.

Harden reunites with Daryl Morey and gets to play with MVP favorite Joel Embiid, while the Nets get a motivated Simmons, who hasn’t played a game this season but is “thrilled” with the trade, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

Harden had been seeking a trade from the Nets over the past few weeks. He can become an unrestricted free agent this offseason once he declines his 2022-23 player option. However, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the one-time MVP will opt into his $47.3 million player option.

Simmons has already spoken to Nets star Kevin Durant and is excited to start the next chapter of his career alongside the two-time Finals MVP and Kyrie Irving. However, there are some steps for the LSU product to take before he makes his Brooklyn debut.

Simmons Gets Fresh Start, Will Continue to Work with Therapist

According to Shelburne, Simmons will continue to work with his therapist to get mentally ready to play with the Nets. The three-time All-Star hasn’t played a game since June 20, 2021. He has career averages of 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists while shooting 56.0% from the field and 59.7% from the free-throw line.

The Nets needed to trade Harden since they internally knew he would leave in the offseason for the Sixers. They acquired one of the best defenders in the NBA in Simmons, a sharpshooter in Curry and an elite rebounder in Drummond.

Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks should be commended for the haul he got in return for Harden, who played in only 80 games with the franchise.

ESPN projects that the Nets will start Irving, Curry, Durant, Simmons and LaMarcus Aldridge once Simmons is ready to play. Irving can’t play in home games since he’s not vaccinated against COVID-19, so the arrival of Simmons gives Brooklyn another much-needed stout floor general.

However, it’s worth mentioning that Simmons has no outside game whatsoever.

Simmons Can’t Shoot

Simmons has only made five 3-pointers since entering the NBA and is often reluctant to shoot wide-open shots. The good news for the Nets is that they have plenty of shooters in Durant, Irving and Curry and Simmons is a fierce driver who can collapse defenses and find open shooters with his stellar vision.

However, Simmons has to take open jumpers with the Nets. Otherwise, Brooklyn’s floor spacing will be comprised.

It will be fascinating to see how Simmons plays with the Nets and how Harden meshes with Embiid on the Sixers. Brooklyn and Philadelphia are in the same division and play each other for the final time this season on March 10.

The game will be in Philadelphia and Simmons will probably get heavily booed by Sixers fans.

The Nets are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings and have lost nine games in a row. If the season ended today, they would be in the play-in tournament. However, once Durant comes back from his knee injury and Simmons develops chemistry with KD and Irving, Brooklyn could become a title contender.

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