James Harden Rumors: Simmons, Sixers, Heat, Robinson

After reporting on Thursday that the Sixers have been willing to discuss Ben Simmons in James Harden trade talks with the Rockets, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (video link) said during an appearance on the Keyshawn, JWill and Zubin Show today that Philadelphia will be “very careful” about including Simmons in any offer that doesn’t get them more than Harden.

While Wojnarowski doesn’t get into any specifics about what Philadelphia would want, it seems reasonable to assume that if they’re being asked to part with Simmons and draft picks, the 76ers would seek at least one more player from the Rockets — perhaps someone like P.J. Tucker. It doesn’t sound like Houston would be enthusiastic about that scenario though, per Wojnarowski, who says the Rockets will likely want Simmons “plus a bunch more assets” for just Harden.

“You saw (Sixers president of basketball operations) Daryl Morey come out yesterday and say, ‘We’re not trading Ben Simmons,'” Wojnarowski said. “Well, I certainly don’t think they’re trading Ben Simmons just in a deal that looks like it’s straight up with some picks for James Harden. I think they’re going to want a lot more than James Harden. That might not be a deal that’s available to the Sixers.”

The two sides could re-engage in discussions, but right now they aren’t close, according to Woj, who says he expects Simmons and Joel Embiid to open the season in Philadelphia.

Here’s more on Harden:

  • Although the Rockets are committed to finding the right deal, they’d be happy to get a Harden trade done “sooner than later,” Wojnarowski said this morning during an appearance on ESPN’s Get Up (video link).
  • Simmons is unlikely to be traded for Harden at this time, according to Derek Bodner of The Athletic, who cautions that doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the coming months if the Simmons/Embiid duo isn’t thriving. For now though, once reports surfaced suggesting Simmons might be available, the Sixers had to publicly back their All-Star guard, Bodner writes.
  • The Heat were said to have interest in exploring a possible Harden trade and have presumably touched base with Houston. However, Ethan Skolnick of Five Reasons Sports (Twitter link) hears from multiple sources that the inclusion of Duncan Robinson in a possible offer is a “major sticking point” — in other words, the Rockets would want him and Miami wouldn’t want to give him up.
  • ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link) expanded his breakdown of teams that could theoretically make a run at Harden from nine to 14, adding long shots like the Cavaliers, Bucks, Timberwolves, Trail Blazers, and Kings.
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78 thoughts on “James Harden Rumors: Simmons, Sixers, Heat, Robinson

  1. stretch123

    Herro, Achiuwa, Nunn, Olynyk, Iggy, 2 first round picks, and 2 pick swaps for Harden.

    • Mjm117

      That should get it done. But if Philly indeed offers Simmons they most likely will take Ohillys offers.

    • seamaholic

      Works financially. Pretty meh-ish return for Houston but probably best they can do, unless they prefer taking a flyer on Oladipo (and the Pacers are into Harden, which is doubtful).

  2. Brown Trout Fisherman

    Simmons 24 a defensive stud is worgh more than the fat Harden 31 — its malpractice to trade for him if you like PHILLY

    • Mjm117

      The problem is Sixers new GM is Hardens #1 fan and president of his fan club. So although you might be right, Simmons is younger and great on defense. Harden is the player they need to go deep in the playoffs IMO

    • pacfan189

      He also can’t throw a rock in the ocean in an NBA where three point shooting is a premium.

      • PhillyPhan69

        Or…he is dominant on assists on 3 pt shots…ya know, in the NBA where 3 point shooting is a premium.

    • Simmons>Russ

      That’s what I kept thinking Hardens prime might only last 2/3 more seasons then he becomes Lou Williams for a couple years and then retired.
      Ben Simmons in 2/3 seasons will hit his prime and probably average something like 25-10-8 for the next 5 years, while being a great defender.

      Yes Harden is more likely to win you a ring right now and him and Embiid would be crazy good together but I just wouldn’t give up the future for him. The team is built for Simmons more so now than ever with Seth Curry, Danny Green, Maxey, Thybulle those are all Simmons guys.

      Plus if you look across the league your just about to see Bron, KD, Curry, Kawhi, Harden, Russ, CP3 all these guys start to be on the way out, which opens up the league again and instead of the preseason talk being Lakers in the final against who… it’ll be about 10 teams all realistically trying to be the winners

      • buttholesurfer69

        If I was I would seriously consider trading Embiid and building around Simmons … he’s younger and leas injury prone

        But i’d consider Harden too

        Or even Embiid for Harden

  3. julyn82001

    No one questions Harden’s upside basketball skill set. However, why would a team sacrifice a valuable young player like Simmons and whatever number of picks – high or lower – to land Harden, who seems like a ruler other than a team player, huh? Also, those days of long beard are gone, frankly Harden looks awful! Maybe he got religious, who knows?

  4. elmedius

    Dark horse for Harden: the Hawks?

    He was just partying there so he might “approve it” and they have a lot of young pieces and draft assets.

    • hiflew

      Aside from a Simmons led package, I think the Hawks have the best combo of picks and young players without a clear starting spot available. The Hawks long term signing of Gallinari and Bogdanovic pushed guys like Hunter, Reddish, and Huerter to the bench likely for their entire rookie deals. Packaging a couple of them up with picks and maybe a big like Okongwu and some salary would be a great package for Houston. It would Wall some young wings to play with and Okongwu could learn from Cousins. And Harden, along with the other vet signings would instantly make Atlanta one of the top 3-4 teams in the East.

      • buttholesurfer69

        Depends how you feel about Collins…

        If you’re a believer the Hawks may have the best offer of anyone

        BUT idk if they wanna pair Harden w/ Trae

        • hiflew

          I don’t know if it would be championship winning basketball, but it would probably be entertaining to watch.

    • seamaholic

      Very hard to put together a package that works for the Hawks. They’re over the cap now, and Bogdanovich, Gallinari and Rondo cannot be traded for a while. To get to the $32m or so they’d need to send out, they’d have to include probably 3 guys from their young core. Pretty much unthinkable from where I sit. Plus it would mean pushing Bogdan to the bench, which is clearly not what he was promised when he signed, and how many balls would there be for Trae and Harden? That would have disaster written all over it.

      To me, the only viable destinations are Miami and Indiana, and neither will offer anything great. Houston’s screwed.

      • hiflew

        They could package Tony Snell as salary along with Hunter, Okongwu (when he is eligible to trade in a couple weeks), and Reddish along with their first rounders in 21, 22, and 25. (They should be able to trade back to back firsts because they own OKC’s protected pick in 2022). It works cap wise according to the trade machine.

        OR they could keep Okongwu and trade Capela back to the Rockets. Which would be interesting in itself. Capela was a fan favorite, so getting him back might make it easier for the fans to accept a trade of Harden.

    • Simmons>Russ

      Thought the Hawks could be a sneaky dark horse. I don’t think Harden gets traded until the deadline or in the offseason next year.
      In which case all but Trae Young is probably available for trades.

      I’d have a package of Gallo, Reddish, Hunter, Hueter and a first round pick for Harden.
      Remembering Harden will be even older at this stage but still in his prime.

      Hawks would have an insane line up with Trae, Harden, Bogi, Collins and Capela
      The Rockets would get a lot of fresh young talent Wall, Reddish, Hunter, Gallo, Wood with Hueter, Gordon, Cousins, Tucker and House still all on the books and could be traded.

      • Simmons>Russ@, they have to trade Harden now… they cannot let this drag out. I think it happens way before the trade deadline. The team would be such a dumpster fire if they held out for a month or two.

  5. Codeeg

    Out of all the teams I look at the one I keep coming to as an interesting team are the pavers. they trade warren, turner, and lecque. its not a pacers move at all, but it’d be a team with 3 all stars plus brogden all for the next 2 seasons. NBA would hate that for ratings though.

    • Codeeg

      actually forget my armchair gm trade idea. I think it’s ridiculous to think houston would take it. plus lecque is so unproven.

  6. x%sure

    Why wouldn’t HOU want to include Tucker? He’s going to haunt them. The only starter they won’t overpay.

    Eventually they will turn to Atlanta. Philly’s not motivated yet. Sixers can go deep without Harden if Rivers holds them together. Given their ages, it hasn’t been proven they can’t.

    • seamaholic

      Philly’s already WAY into the lux tax (although not hard capped). Harden + Tucker is $50m. You do the math there … if I’m the Sixers front office I am SO not interested in that. It would require probably sending Harris out, and I’m sure they’d consider Harris for Tucker a net negative. There isn’t a fit at all with Philly, just a GM that loves James Harden. And in general, there’s a mismatch between what Houston (especially its fans) think Harden’s value is, and what it really is.

      • buttholesurfer69

        Or this is just posturing on Morey’s part and he’s gonna do Simmons for Harden straight up in a month

  7. Tatsumaki

    Okay so throw in tucker, house whoever if it nets simmons and picks I doubt rockets would hold out to keep pj tucker or Daniel house….the main issue is getting simmons as headliner

    My question is if houston agreed to take back someone like harris to offset the deal would sixers agree? They could potentially use those funds to build stronger depth or add another star?

    • Sillivan

      Both sides have no fund at all

      Rockets are hard capped
      76ers are in luxury tax hell

      Harris picks to third team and third team offer young stars or players like Duncan Robinson and Herro

      • Tatsumaki

        That would be interesting

        Duncan robinson
        Tyler herro


        2 future first rounders unprotected

        • Mjm117

          Heat will not trade Duncan, Herro plus for Harris and Thybull and future pics. That’s a Knicks type of moves.

          Heat do not operate in stupidity.

          • Sillivan

            Two Firsts has little value
            Highly unlikely 4th team offers a proven young star and take Harris contract

            Harris is in bad shape now

  8. Sillivan

    76ers won’t make conference in playoffs without Harden
    It’s a good idea to let third team offer some assets

    • mnsportsfan

      Possibly the wolves, where philly gets harden, wolves Simmons, rockets get a lot.

      • Sillivan

        List of players are not available for trade at the moment

        Trade DLo?

    • x%sure

      Your assumption that the Sixers will not get far in the playoffs without Harden is wrong and messes up any other computation you make. Harden has done nothing to deserve that reputation, and the Sixers came close without even getting along. New coach now.

  9. harden (mvp),wall, and wood

    They want more than Harden for Simmons? The Sixers are delusional.

    • seamaholic

      Rockets would be lucky to get Tobias Harris and a couple protected late 1sts for James Harden.

      • Codeeg

        I see daryll morey leaking the jame harden is a diva will hurt his value is working. except teams know there’s more to basketball than perception.

      • PhillyPhan69

        Tobias is as much as I would trade for him + picks. Houston ain’t gettin Ben, so I think they will have to find another partner most likely.

  10. Sillivan

    Rockets want to talk to many teams today
    They want to make decisions today. It will be too late if 76ers are hesitated

    76ers are done and over tonight

    Every second counts

  11. KnickerbockerAl

    Ever since this Harden saga has broke. Half the genuineness here all got trades. But none of you say how it works for teams. Why would Sixers take on Harden. Who goes, how does this team work and mix. Mind you with a new coach. And new guys around them. I would never move Simmons for Harden. Harris I would think long and hard (not a Harden fan). So how do you see Harden mixing with Harris, Embiid, rest of team. He can’t play the way he did in Houston. With Doc as coach it’s going to be different. Number one he’s got to share the ball. He’s going to have to play D. You think he and Embiid will get along. After he doesn’t run back on D. Or flags at guys going around him. Houston basketball has thru history always been about the big man. It’s a good way for success. Harden doesn’t share the ball. So you can’t have an offensive big. What is Embiid. Sixer fans do you really see this working. You giving up on Ben for this. It’s a bad move. At this point in his career. I’m not sure who could get Harden to change his gm, at least some. He wouldn’t do it for three coaches. Not for three stars. So at 32 yrs old he’s now going to change.
    You remember when they said Mello wanted to join forces with Bron. Bron called him best scorer in league. Yet when he was available his teams never went after him. Even when he was available for scraps. Even when he was available for the minimum contract. Now that should tell you something about chemistry and team. No one cares if you can put up 30. But hurt chemistry, team and you don’t win. Don’t matter how good your talent is. You win with talent, chemistry, play both ways. You win as a team. Can you really believe you will do that with a 32 yr old diva who plays for himself. We all got trade ideas. But have you thought it thru to see how the team will work. If those players will mix with Harden. Will this bring team together and mix right for a championship run. Have you really thought this thru.

    • Sillivan

      Embiid and Harden would work better than Embiid and Simmons
      or Simmons and Wall

    • goastros123

      If I’m the Sixers, I would want Harden for three reasons: 1. We’ve failed to get past the semifinals for 3 years in a row with the star duo of Simmons and Embiid. During that span, Philly had at least two guys shooting .400 or better from deep as well as Reddick who is kown for 3’s. 2. Harden is a better scorer than Simmons so Embiid would get some actual help, especially if Doc and Harden get along while Harden held accountable and Doc doesn’t bow to him. 3. You don’t want to entertain the possibility of Harden going to either Brooklyn or Miami and……SURPRISE, Harden is able to fit in and now you gotta face that juggernaut.

    • buttholesurfer69

      Al, have you considered this:

      Out of any team from 16-19 the Rockets came by far the closest of any team to beating a healthy Durant led GSW team in the playoffs? The most dominant team in the L since at least the Jordan Bulls?

      You do the deal because you’re betting that Harden can POSSIBLY put all his BS aside and compete with the greats when needed.

      • DeathbyDeathwest

        Harden is on the wrong side of thirty, and only has two year of a max contract left.

        Ben Simmons is what, 25? Who’s to say Simmons won’t continue to improve and become “that guy” of 2023-2027?

        • goastros123

          Who’s to say it’s impossible for Harden to fit like a glove on the Nets or Heat and they stomp the Sixers? You don’t want that if you’re Philly and improbable =/= impossible. Despite his age and his reputation, James Harden is something Philly needs: an explosive scoring machine. Where else will you find one available? Simmons might be able to develope a shot one day but will he become the scorer that James Harden is? Unlikely. Past three seasons, the deeper the Sixers go the less help Embiid gets from his teammates.

          • DeathbyDeathwest

            You’d have to be pretty fear-driven to break up your own squad to keep an aging star off another team like that.

            You want Simmons on the Rockets more than anyone wants Harden anywhere. Simmons is not part of the package to get Harden – Harden is (maybe) part of the package that gets Simmons.

            • goastros123

              1. “You’d have to be pretty fear-driven to break up your own squad to keep an aging star off another team like that.” – That’s my point. You should not want to find out if you’re Philly because that could spell disaster for you. Plus, you’re in win now mode and not “win-when-Simmons-developes-a-shot-mode”. 2. Harden is 31 years old but if you’re Miami or Brooklyn and you’re a contender for the next 3 years while getting at least 18 ppg, 6 apg, etc from Harden as he fits like a glove on your team, how is Philly gonna stop you? Yes, Harden can still put forth a few seasons like that post-30. 3. Right now, Simmons is not part of the package to get Harden. You are correct. However, Simmons is what it’s gonna take to get Harden, and that takes me back to 1 and 2. 4. Honestly, objectively speaking, Embiid does need help on the offensive ends. Where else can they get a great scorer to give Embiid some help? I’ll wait. 5. I’ll gladly take Tyler Herro in a trade that sends Harden to Miami. Guess what: Miami has put Herro on the table. I want Houston to get the best deal it can.

              • goastros123

                Edit: “Tyler Herro is not untouchable” is what I should’ve said.

                • DeathbyDeathwest

                  I think Harden makes the most sense for the Heat. If I’m the Sixers, I’d offer everyone but Embiid and Simmons. Who is beating that package?

                  I like Herro a lot too – I think he’s gettable, and the Heat are deep for putting a package together.

                  If the Sixers trade Simmons for Harden, they’re overpaying. Tbh I would trade Embiid before I traded Simmons..

                  • goastros123

                    You might be on to something about trading Embiid instead of Simmons because maybe Simmons could learn to post up on smaller guards inside and if they rotate a bigger defender on him, he could pass out to shooters on the wings. Me wanting to see Simmons on the Rockets is mostly wishful thinking but if it became a reality, of course I’d thrilled. The Heat might have to add Igudola and a couple of others to help balance out the salary part of the trade, should they trade for Harden.

                  • PhillyPhan69

                    I would trade Joel before Ben too (kinda why all these rumors make me laugh)…but I would also rather keep both than trade 1 for Harden! Tobias for harden is the best they can do

  12. As some of you guys mentioned, I agree the Hawks are a great trade partner for the Rockets. The Hawks are so loaded that they could give four or five young guys for Harden. And they still would not upset their core 5.

  13. Simmons>Russ

    Sixers shouldn’t part with Simmons,
    Heat don’t have enough to offer and probably don’t want to lose the young talent and culture.
    Brooklyn seem happy with what they have, which is probably good not to have to many stars.

    Hawks could be a huge dark horse that makes sense
    Pelicans could also be a sneaky outside the box suggestion
    Celtics could make an offer but I think will be happy with what they have.
    Nuggets are also in this boat

    However how about:

    1. The Knicks
    (Randle, Barrett, Knox, DSJ and a first round pick)

    2. Portland
    McCollum, Collins, Little, Simons and 2 firsts for Harden and Tucker

    • Simmons>Russ

      Dame Harden Covington Tucker Nurkic would be such an amazing line up.
      Hood Jones Jr Melo Giles Kanter off the bench

      Surely would make them the best team in paper and a huge title contender

    • goastros123

      None of those guys really stand out as a “build-around-me”-kind of player and that is what Houston is looking for.

        • goastros123

          El Don, it’s about what Houston wants and what other teams can offer to entice Houston into accepting their trade proposal.

          • x%sure

            Houston is the desperate one. So it’s NOT about what they want. They will have to take the best offer.

            • hiflew

              But they aren’t desperate. Harden is under contract. They aren’t going to lose him for nothing this offseason. He will play because he is a competitive person and will not risk hurting his future earning power by tanking. He might not be happy, but who cares? Plenty of people are not happy at their job.

            • goastros123

              It is about what they want because they DON’T have to trade him right away.

    • buttholesurfer69

      Portland is an interesting desperation spot … not sure if McCollum is good enough (or young enough) for them to pull the trigger tho. And the prospects are eh (unless you’re high on Simons)

  14. Rockets should really try to trade Harden to a team with a large, expiring contract.

    Harden to Bulls for Porter, Levine, a couple of first round picks. Bulls may need to include additional salary to make it work.

    • stevep-4

      Noooooo please no. All Bulls need is a true NBA pg. Harden would just prevent the youngsters from developing, and the (finally!) ball movement offense from succeeding.

      • stevep-4

        Maybe Bulls could be a third team facilitator, but not a destination for Harden.

  15. Sillivan

    2 poster nicknames should modify after Harden mvp is traded for Simmons > Russ

  16. Philly might be throwing Simmons’ name out there to stay engaged. I doubt they are going to actually offer up Simmons, at least until the deadline (and assuming the combination with Embid continues to underwhelm).

    I don’t see any scenario under which the Knicks would trade for Harden, and (for sure) they won’t be trading their own 1st unprotected (for Harden or anyone else).

    • Sillivan

      Rockets fans clearly do not want Harris and any picks from 76ers
      This would allow third team to offer young stars to meet the requirements

      Harris should not involve into trade idea because third team would have too much pressure to take that 100 million overpay contract

    • PhillyPhan69

      Philly ain’t throwing Ben’s name out there lol…Houston and the media are doing that

  17. formerlyz

    I’ve pretty much said it a bunch of times, but if they do a deal, it would probably have to include like 6 guys from the Heat, and they would have to get back at least PJ Tucker+ in the salary matching situation…I obviously wanted to avoid the situation, but the noise is getting stronger, so what about the potential deal? I think teams like the Knicks, and maybe the Nets, and even OKC would arguably be able to offer them more. The idea of Duncan Robinson in the deal is laughable

    Iguodala, Leonard, Bradley, Olynyk, Herro/Nunn, maybe Okpala if necessary, the 2nd round pick in 2022, and the 2025 1st, and worst case, another pick in 2027, although they’re giving up significant pieces, and taking on all of Harden’s salary, so not sure thats necessary

    for Harden, PJ Tucker, DeMarcus Cousins, and potentially Sterling Brown (if Okpala were included)

    But even then I’d personally be salty, and I doubt it would go down like that. I just dont see any other way for it to work out…This would obviously have to also be after February 6, and at that point in the season, would the Heat really turn over their team, and would Houston do that during a playoff race?

    Could see Levert, Dinwiddie, Kurucs, DeAndre Jordan, and maybe a guard like Okobo, likely not Bruce Brown, and a pick or 2 for Harden from the Nets….Wonder what random team that could come in, but whoever gets him is likely massively overpaying, and I doubt that would be the Heat

    • x%sure

      It’s Houston’s problem. Trading a star is difficult, but their job. Maybe just tell him to go home, check’s in the mail. Cavs did that with JR. Sixers won’t be ready until later, and Hawks.

      • x%sure

        IDK how to determine which Heat players would go besides the two salary players.

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