Philadelphia 76ers came very close to get James Harden on board. They were so sure that Ben Simmons was told to pack his bags as they were going to offer him on trade to the Houston Rockets.
However, as it turns out Houston Rockets traded James Harden with Brooklyn Nets, whereas Simmons is still with the 76ers.
This information was reported by Philadelphia Inquirer’s journalist Keith Pompey.
“But the Sixers thought they had a deal for Harden done, according to sources … Simmons and (Matisse) Thybulle were even informed by their agents on Wednesday of an expected trade,” Pompey wrote in the report.
However, the Rockets, as it appears, were not genuinely interested in trading Harden to the 76ers. Daryl Morey’s switch from Houston to becomes the 76ers president of basketball operations could have influenced their decision partially. As it has been heard, Morey’s move didn’t make the Rockets’ owner, Tilman Fertitta, happy.
In fact, as reported by Pompey, the Rockets never even approached the 76ers with a couteroffer. They just went on and completed the blockbuster four-team deal, which involved Harden moving to Brooklyn.
The 76ers got completely played here. The Rockets were smart enough to utilize the 76ers interest to shoot up the price for Harden. It resulted in a massive draft haul which can help Houston in reorganizing their franchise.
Ben Simmons, as reported by ESPN, was very happy that his trade with the Rockets didn’t happen. However, his place in the 76ers side is in jeopardy now as the management has clearly shown that he is not in their future plans.
However, Simmons is still hopeful. He still thinks he can win an NBA title with Philadelphia. His focus will now be on convincing Daryl Morey and the front office with his hard work and performance.