Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons was “pretty ecstatic to not be traded” in a deal for 2018 NBA MVP James Harden, Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated reports.
Harden, who spent more than eight seasons with the Houston Rockets, was traded to the Brooklyn Nets in a four-team blockbuster deal. The Sixers, who hired former Rockets general manager Daryl Morey to be their president of basketball operations in November, have been tied to Harden in trade rumors for months.
Of course, when trading for a superstar like Harden, there’s an expectation that the team sending away their marquee player will receive one in return. As a result of this rationale and Simmons’ questionable on-court fit with All-Star center Joel Embiid, his name has often cropped up in conversations surrounding Harden.
Fortunately for Simmons, Morey has been determined to build a team around both him and Embiid, adding perimeter shooters to the roster throughout the offseason to balance out Simmons’ struggling jump shot.
With Harden now joining forces with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn, there’s still a chance that Simmons will be involved in trade rumors that involve The Beard; it’s just the nature of the business.
However, for at least a brief period, Simmons can keep his mind off of hypothetical trades involving him. With his team sitting at 8-4 and off to one of the best starts in the NBA, the Sixers can keep their focus on their current core too.