Despite earlier reports that the 76ers would make superstar Ben Simmons available in some “packages” with the Houston Rockets for James Harden, 76ers’ President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey has set the record straight.
“We are not trading Ben Simmons—he is an important part of our future,” Morrey said on Thursday according to Shams Charania, who initially reported the news.
Charania had first reported that “conversations [between the two teams] aren’t fluid as of now,” while ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that “those talks have come nowhere close to a deal.”
For those that have been following all of the recent drama surrounding Harden and the Rockets, the 76ers and the Brooklyn Nets were two teams Harden had reportedly expressed interest in being traded to. The Miami Heat are also reportedly interested in the shooting guard and open to making Tyler Herro available.
Woj and ESPN senior writer Romona Shelburne also report that the Rockets have been talking to teams beyond Harden’s “preferred” list:
“Several playoff-caliber teams in the Eastern and Western conferences have told ESPN that they’re finding increased comfort in committing high-level trade assets in talks to acquire Harden,” ESPN’s staff writes. “The Rockets have ongoing discussions on several fronts and have been communicating with Harden about those scenarios,” sources said.
If a trade would have happened with Philly, the 76ers would have lost a major talent in Simmons, who averaged 16.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 8.0 assists last season despite shooting troubles.
Simmons, 24, is a two-time All-Star and was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team last season.