When you hear news of a trade, the first reaction is to think about which team originally won the trade. In the NBA court of public opinion, that distinction usually goes to the side that gets the more prominent name or superstar player. With Ben Simmons (and others). traded for James Harden, it depends on which speaker you wanted to listen to.
Now, almost three months after the trade, it’s easy to see who performed better on this deal. This is a rare trade where no one has won. It’s really very simple. Based on what the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets thought they would get in this trade, they are both losers. simmons never touched the court for Brooklyn and is now in need of back surgery “attempted” return a week earlier.
The Nets also brought Seth Curry and Andre Drummond into trades with Simmons, but they weren’t enough to get them past the Boston Celtics. They might find some gems with the first-round draft picks they acquired from the Sixers, but that’s not helping them now. This team was built to win now. So far, Kyrie Irving – Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets was a disappointment. And the midseason fight against Simmons only reinforced that fact.
But at least the Sixers can say that Harden is contributing on the court. Currently, Harden is contributing to a 2-0 series deficit against the Miami Heat, but he’s pacing up and down the court out there. No way Daryl Morey thought he was going to get that when he withheld the deal with Simmons to bring in his pal Harden. At this point we might as well refer to him as “the artist that used to be known”.
The James Harden Morey once knew must have stayed behind in Houston. Or maybe he took a detour on his way to Brooklyn and was stopped in Magic City with a plate of Louwill Lemon Pepper wings. This guy masquerading as Harden around Philly just can’t pull it off. Harden simply can’t do offensively what he used to do.
We’re talking about a player who hit 10-point shots in a game in Houston and had seven three-pointers in a playoff game against Boston last year. Harden has had more than two three-pointers in one game in his first eight games this postseason. That happened in game one of round one when he made a four against Toronto.
If Harden can’t Give the Sixers a couple of 30-point performances in a playoff series, then it’s time to demand a refund. Take back one of the draft picks or something. Yes, that sounds absurd, but this trade looks pretty stupid now. I thought Philly gave up a little too much for Harden from the start. Now Joel Embiid is injured (how he is vulnerable) and Harden can no longer carry a team.
That’s why Philly traded for Harden. He is said to be the second star and life raft in case Embiid goes under. So Embiid is down, and Harden might as well be with him because he’s certainly not stopping the Sixers. Tyrese Maxey is more aggressive in scoring buckets than the former MVP.
By this time next year there could be a new narrative centered around this trade if Simmons comes back from the last issue and gets his sanity in order. Should Simmons come back and have a great season in Brooklyn, I’ll be the first to come out and congratulate him. We’ve seen Harden’s best days, and they clearly seem to be in retrospect.
The BeardJames is still a fine NBA talent, but his role on any team that moves forward will be markedly different from what we’re used to. And let’s not forget Harden’s contract situation. He’s a free agent after next season and will be looking for approximately $50 million-a-year renewal. Harden turned down a similar two-year extension from the Rockets before being traded. The way Harden played this year, I don’t even know if Mr. Morey still sees that value in him.