Report: Sixers Trade for Harden; Send Package Centered Around Simmons, Curry to Nets

By Matt Gregan, Sports Talk Philly Staff Writer

The Philadelphia 76ers have finally done it. The Ben Simmons saga has come to an end. The Sixers, according to multiple reports, have agreed to a trade with the Brooklyn Nets that would send James Harden and Paul Millsap to Philadelphia in exchange for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two first-round picks.

Harden fills an immediate need for the Sixers, providing a true superstar player to pair with Joel Embiid. Harden is averaging 22.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 10.2 assists per game this season in what many are considering to be a "down year" for him. Harden, a 10-time All-Star, easily becomes the best, most accomplished player Embiid has played with in his career. This trade propels the team to immediate championship contention, and with it being likely the team will extend Harden past this season, the team should be contending for a title for at least the next two or three seasons to come.

Sixers' president of basketball operations Daryl Morey pulled off a great trade for the Sixers, managing to reunite with Harden without giving up either of the team's two young core players (Tyrese Maxey and Matisse Thybulle). Giving up Curry and Drummond will hurt, but it was always going to cost something to bring in a player of Harden's caliber. Curry was having a career year, averaging 15.0 points per game, but the addition of Harden would have resulted in him playing a much smaller role on the team coming off the bench. Drummond was the best backup big man the Sixers have had in the Embiid era, but he was definitely expendable in a trade to bring in a true second superstar player.

The Sixers are also receiving Millsap in the trade. Millsap did not receive many minutes this season for the Nets, playing in only 11.3 minutes per game. He is clearly out of his prime, but he has shown over the past few years he has the ability to be a solid backup power forward who can average close to eight points and four or five rebounds per game. Over the prior two seasons, he averaged 10.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game while playing 22.4 minutes per game.

This trade was completed about 95 minutes before the 3 p.m. trade deadline, leaving Morey plenty of time to make smaller, supplemental trades to fill out the rest of the roster.

For now, fans should enjoy the new era of basketball in Philadelphia. Embiid certainly is.