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Report: Sixers Trade Disgruntled Star Ben Simmons To Brooklyn For James Harden

And just like that, the Ben Simmons era in Philadelphia has come to an end. 

According to reports, Simmons has been traded to the Brooklyn Nets for 10-time All-Star James Harden. In the trade, the Sixers will send Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, and two first round draft picks. 

“The Brooklyn Nets are trading James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two first-round picks, sources tell ESPN,” NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski said. 

According to ESPN, the draft picks will be an unprotected 2022 first-round pick and a protected 2027 first-round pick. 

Per Shams Charania of The Athletic, Harden will opt into his $47.3 million player option as part of the deal.

Over the past several weeks, Harden’s unhappiness in Brooklyn has been apparent, as the Nets have lost nine consecutive games. Brooklyn is dealing with an injury to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving only playing in road games due to his vaccination status. It’s the second time Harden has been traded in the past 13 months, after he forced his way out of Houston in January 2021. 

Harden will be reunited with Daryl Morey in Philadelphia, who was the president of basketball operations for most of Harden’s time as a member of the Houston Rockets. 

Simmons has yet to play in a game this season, following his trade demand in the offseason. 

In October, Simmons reported to Sixers training camp, but made it clear that he did not intend to ever take the floor for Philadelphia again. Since reporting to camp, Simmons has incurred nearly $20 million in fines this season for games missed. 

The Simmons saga has been fascinating to watch from afar, as one of the best defenders in the game appeared to lose all confidence in his offensive game during the 2021 NBA playoffs.

The Sixers — who have not been to an Eastern Conference Final since the 2000-2001 season — lost to the Atlanta Hawks in seven games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. In the series, Simmons struggled mightily on the offensive side of the floor, often refusing to look for his own shot.

Simmons averaged just 9.9 points per game against the Hawks, much of which could be attributed to his horrendous free-throw shooting during the playoffs. A 61.3% free-throw shooter during the regular season, Simmons dipped to a historically low 34.2% in the postseason.

During the seven-game series against Atlanta, Simmons attempted just three total shots in the fourth quarter and didn’t have a single fourth-quarter attempt in the last four games of the series.

But it was the way his play was discussed after the series that appears to have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.

After their second-round exit, Rivers was asked if Simmons could be the point guard on a championship team, to which Rivers replied, “I don’t know the answer to that.”

After the game, Joel Embiid pointed to the play as the turning point.

“I’ll be honest: I thought the turning point was when we had an open shot, and we made one free throw and we missed the other, and they came down and scored,” Embiid said.

Simmons now joins a Nets team that will not require him to carry a heavy offensive load, while Harden escapes from a situation in Brooklyn that clearly was causing him to be unhappy. The Sixers currently sit in the fifth spot of the Eastern Conference. 2.5 games out of first place.

Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to sports@dailywire.com.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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