The James Harden saga has raged on since the start of the 2020 NBA offseason. Several NBA Trade Rumors surround the 2018 MVP, with many reports suggesting his next landing spot could be the Philadelphia 76ers. But, as per reports, the Houston Rockets have made it clear they want Ben Simmons in return if the deal is to go through
Fans are not enthusiastic about breaking the Ben Simmons - Joel Embiid partnership but James Harden is a generational talent and could lead Philly to a title. Here are the cases for and against the Philadelphia 76ers sacrificing Ben Simmons for James Harden ahead of the 2020-21 NBA season.
NBA Trade Rumors: The case for the Philadelphia 76ers giving up Ben Simmons for James Harden
Ben Simmons is one of the best playmakers in the NBA. But despite his abilities, his lack of an outside shot has continued to haunt him, especially in the postseason.
Some analysts suggest his effectiveness as a playmaker for the Philadelphia 76ers has reduced, as teams have figured out how to defend him.
Simmons' tendency to drive into the paint in order to be effective has also caused a drop in Joel Embiid's performances as well. Both players tend to operate on the inside to impose themselves on a game. Ultimately, both players are far too similar to be successful in the postseason together.
Sacrificing Ben Simmons for James Harden, as speculated in recent NBA Trade Rumors, would solve this problem instantly. Not only would James Harden's style complement Joel Embiid, but their pick-and-roll would be nearly unguardable.
While James Harden cannot match Ben Simmons' versatility on defense, his fit on the offensive end makes this potential deal a no-brainer for the Philadelphia 76ers.
NBA Trade Rumors: The case against the Philadelphia 76ers giving up Ben Simmons for James Harden
If we were to look at the Philadelphia 76ers rosters of the previous seasons, bringing in James Harden for Ben Simmons would be an easy decision. But the fact is, the franchise's situation and roster have changed dramatically in this offseason.
The brilliance of Daryl Morey can't be understated here. After being appointed as the President of basketball operations, the former Houston Rockets GM solved the Philadelphia 76ers biggest problems.
Adding 3-point shooting means the Philadelphia 76ers roster boasts much better spacing as opposed to the clogged interior offense last year. As a result, both Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons could have the ample space they require to operate in the paint.
The last nail in the coffin here is James Harden's attitude. Recent NBA Trade Rumors claim the former MVP has a tendency to constantly make demands and throw tantrums.
NBA insiders recently reported that James Harden threatened to quit the Houston Rockets last year if the franchise refused to bring in Russell Westbrook.
On the other hand, Ben Simmons has spent his entire NBA career with the Philadelphia 76ers and has been open about his love for the city and the franchise. Retaining Ben Simmons and building a long-term plan would be a wise decision for the franchise.
Published 18 Dec 2020, 21:55 IST