Breaking Down the Harden-Simmons Deal

Hours before the trade deadline, January 14, the Brooklyn Nets acquired Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, and two future first-round draft picks from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for James Harden and Paul Millsap. In a final order of business, the Nets also requested waivers on DeAndre’ Bembry in order to make roster space.

This deal allows the Nets and 76ers to move on from their unhappy superstars: James Harden and Ben Simmons.

  • Nets recieve: G/F Ben Simmons, G Seth Curry, C Andre Drummond 2022 first-round pick (with the right to defer it to 2023), and a top-eight protected 2027 first-round pick
  • 76ers recieve: G James Harden, F Paul Millsap

“We are thrilled to welcome Ben, Seth, Andre and their families to Brooklyn. . .Together, the three will enhance our core by providing versatility and depth on both ends of the floor while better balancing our roster. The decision to trade James was a difficult one, however after recent discussions with him and his representatives we felt that this move would be best for all involved, as it better positions us to achieve our goals this season and in the years ahead. We appreciate everything that James has done for our organization both on and off the court and wish him, Paul and DeAndre’ the best moving forward.” 

Nets General Manager Sean Marks

June 20, Game 7 of the second series of the playoffs, Simmons arguably cost 76ers the game and then series by poor playmaking. At the beginning of September 2021, Ben Simmons requested a trade, stating he was unhappy with the 76ers and was not mentally prepared to play.

James Harden was simply unhappy with the Nets saying that it wasn’t what he had hoped for. Harden was tired of Kyrie Irving’s part-time role which led to instability in the team. It was reported that when was originally traded from the Houston Rockets, he had wanted to go the Philly as the Sixers hired Daryl Morey, former Houston GM.

In order to build a superteam, back in January of 2021, the Nets traded for Harden with a three-way trade including the Houston Rockets & Cleveland Cavaliers.

Original Harden Trade From the Rockets to the Nets

  • Nets receive: G James Harden from Rockets | 2024 second-round pick from Cavs
  • Nets trade: C Jarrett Allen & F Taurean Prince & rights to Aleksandar Vezenkov (57th overall pick in 2017) to Cavs | G Caris LeVert, F Rodions Kurucs, three first-round picks (2022, 2024 and 2026) & four first-round pick swaps (2021, 2023, 2025, 2027) to Rockets
  • Rockets receive: G Caris LeVert, F Rodions Kurucs & three first-round picks (2022, 2024 and 2026) and four first-round pick swaps (2021, 2023, 2025, 2027) from Nets | G Dante Exum & 2022 first-round pick (via Milwaukee) from Cavs
  • Rockets trade: G James Harden to Nets
  • Cavs receive: C Jarrett Allen, F Taurean Prince & rights to Aleksandar Vezenkov (57th overall pick in 2017) from Nets
  • Cavs trade: G Dante Exum & 2022 first-round pick (via Milwaukee) to Houston | 2024 second-round pick to Brooklyn

Unfortunately for Nets fans, the great superteam trio of Harden, Irving, and Durant, only ended up playing 16 games together, with a 13-3 record, as Kyrie’s playing time was limited due to being unvaccinated.

Featured Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images
Second Photo Credit - New York Post