A week ago, the Houston Rockets were fielding offers for James Harden. It really came down to two contenders that wanted in on the three-time scoring champion. They were the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets.
If you follow the NBA, you know the Nets won the sweepstakes. In the deal, Houston acquired numerous first-round picks, pick swaps, and even Victor Oladipo from Indiana as they sent Caris LeVert to Indiana.
There were more moving pieces than that, but the gist was that the Rockets returned a massive load for their star. Here’s how it breaks down for Houston.
“The Rockets received Brooklyn’s unprotected first-round picks in 2022, 2024 and 2026 and the right to swap first-round selections with the Nets in 2021, 2023, 2025 and 2027. Houston also got Milwaukee’s 2022 first-round pick from Cleveland.
Now, what did the Nets beat out? Well, they threw together a better deal than one that had Tyrese Maxey, Ben Simmons, and three first-round picks as its crux. To be fair, it appears Philadelphia turned this down, or else Harden may have been a 76er right now.
However, Maxey, the Sixers first-round pick, was involved according to Kevon O’Connor via Legion Hoops.
The Rockets asked for Ben Simmons, Tyrese Maxey, and 3 future 1st-round picks from the 76ers for James Harden, reports @KevinOConnorNBA.— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) January 18, 2021
Should the 76ers have made the trade?
Maxey, who was ranked as the NBA’s best rookie of the 2020 class so far, erupted for a career-high 39 points a few games ago. He’s been in double figures and absolutely thriving since dropping that career-high.
On the season, Maxey is averaging 11.4 points in 21.6 minutes.
The bigger chip to be traded was 24-year-old Ben Simmons, who is eight years younger than Harden. Simmons is averaging 12.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 8.0 assists per game. He was likely the piece that held up the deal.
For now, the Sixers are rocking with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons as their core with up-and-comers like Tyrese Maxey and Matisse Thybulle on the roster as well.