Philadelphia's James Harden era begins
So long, Ben Simmons. Hello, James Harden.
Driving the news: The Sixers acquired Harden from the Brooklyn Nets just before Thursday's trade deadline in exchange for Simmons, the disgruntled point guard who hasn't played in a single game this season.
Flashback: Simmons last donned a Sixers uniform on the court during the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Atlanta Hawks last year.
- His lackluster performance was typified in Game 7 when he passed up an uncontested layup.
- Simmons has been demanding to be traded since the summer and has maintained he has not been mentally ready to return to play all season.
What they're saying: Jon Marks of SportsRadio 94WIP said Harden can help the Sixers win now and compete for a championship.
- "It's the most impactful move [the Sixers] could have made," he said. "He will have an immediate impact, and he'll make everyone around him better."
Yes, but: Marks noted Harden has injury issues and reportedly has his jersey "retired" at a Houston strip club because of the money he spent there, raising questions about his commitment to his health.
- "He's going to need to come in and show that winning is the most important thing in his life right now — and night life, strip clubs and drinking isn't," Marks said.
The Sixers' star center Joel Embiid tweeted a meme around the time news of the trade began trickling out:
What's happening: The 76ers also will get Paul Millsap, while sending Seth Curry and Andre Drummond to Brooklyn, the Sixers organization said. The Nets will get draft picks, too.
- Harden will stick around through the 2022-23 season, according to ESPN.
Between the lines: The 76ers held on to their young star Matisse Thybulle, who had been mentioned in the lead up to the trade as a possible addition.
What to watch: Simmons will return to Philadelphia to play his first game this season on March 10, when the Sixers face off against the Nets at home.
- If you're looking for tickets, act fast: Prices have spiked and now start at $120, as of Thursday.
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