Rumors about James Harden and the Sixers reached a fever pitch over the weekend after news emerged of Daryl More placing Ben Simmons on the trading table, before Morey publicly announced that Team Simmons was traded. Will not do.
(Are they still to be seen)
We’re just a day away from the start of the NBA regular season and Harden remains on the Rockets, and after Monday the market appears to be shrinking to at least a handful of enigmatic superstars.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Miami Heat reportedly pulled out of the Harden sweepstakes, which made LeBron James his home of basketball in South Beach a decade ago.
Here’s what Windhurst is reporting:
“After having a cursory conversation about the James Harden trade, the Miami Heat have moved on and will not pursue the Houston Rockets star, sources told ESPN.
“The Rockets are looking for important draft assets in the Harden deals and the Heat can currently offer their picks in trade only in the 2027 first round. For those reasons, the Rockets’ favor has never been much discussed.”
This makes sense, and with a previous report it seems that the Rockets were asking three (-!) First-round picks from the Sixers in addition to Ben Simmons in a Harden trade.
As far as this means Harden’s pursuit for the Sixers continues, here are the Sixers stockpiles of draft picks over the next five years:
- 2021 first
- 2021 2 (Nax)
- 2022 first
- 2023 2 (Atlanta, Charlotte, or Brooklyn)
- 2024 first
- 2024 2 (Miami)
- 2025 2
Since teams are unable to trade first round picks in consecutive seasons, if the Rockets want three first round picks from the Sixers, they will look for first rounders in 2021, 2023 and 2026. To leave a player like Simmons is * and * for Hardik to pinch on him.
If Houston really wants draft pics, here’s a more delicious fantasy package for Sixers fans:
- HOU receives: Ben Simmons, Mattis Thybul, 2021 1, 2023 1, 2023 2 (Atlanta, Charlotte, or Brooklyn)
- Receives PHI: James Harden, PJ Tucker, 2021 2 (HOU)
This is where I want to be: Houston gets its draft capital in 2023, including a possible second-round pick, while the Sixers get two players and a pick back. So again, I’m not Daryl More. We’ll see if the Sixers pull the trigger or decide to exit by 2020-21 with their current roster.
The Sixers opened the regular season on 23 December against the Wizards. You can watch and stream the game on NBC Sports Philadelphia and the MyTeams app.
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