Late last week reports emerged that the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers were beginning to engage in communication regarding James Harden.
The 76ers, meanwhile, love Harden and have been desperately looking to unload Ben Simmons for a superstar. The stars appeared to be aligning.
Unfortunately, two major roadblocks immediately presented themselves: the Sixers’ refusal to include one particular player in any trade and the Nets’ demand for a different player in any prospective Harden swap.
That meant additional teams needed to get involved. And it appears as though they have.
According to NBA insider James Stewart, a four-team swap involving both Harden and Simmons may be in the works.
“Heard the Nets, 76ers, Pelicans and Thunder were / are trying to figure out a deal with James Harden, Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons as part of it,” he wrote. “James Harden would end up in Philly.”
More fuel was added to the fire when another NBA insider, Jack Settleman, reported that Harden’s absence from the Nets’ lineup would continue on Tuesday night.
“Wanted to confirm first,” he reported. “James Harden is intentionally being held out of tonight’s game.”
Being intentionally held out of a game is often, though not always, a precursor to a trade.
The NBA Trade Deadline is Feb. 10. With two days to go, anything can happen.
That said, where there’s smoke – there’s fire.
Justin Herbert will do anything for his fans. https://t.co/YAZ5mDAlUS
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 8, 2022
Maybe this four-teamer will come together, maybe not. Multi-team trades are notoriously difficult to facilitate. But there is a very good chance something involving Harden and Simmons will get done.
What will the final product look like? Time will tell.