For much of the 2021/22 season, Nets guard James Harden insisted during conversations with general manager Sean Marks and team owner Joe Tsai that he wanted to remain in Brooklyn beyond this season, according to Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne (Insider link). And initially, signing a long-term deal with Brooklyn was Harden’s preferred option, since he could always force a trade down the road if he needed to.
However, as the season progressed, Harden began talking to various player agents to get advice about how best to make his way to Philadelphia, according to ESPN’s duo. As Wojnarowski and Shelburne detail, the Nets would often quickly learn what Harden – who has a reputation for being passive-aggressive rather than confrontational and was worried about the optics of making another trade request – was saying to agents and other third parties.
Finally, with the trade deadline fast approaching, Harden directly told Marks and Tsai that he would prefer to play for the Sixers, asking the GM and team owner on a FaceTime call to send him to Philadelphia, sources tell ESPN.
The Nets told him they would only make a deal if it was a good one for the organization, which Harden understood. While the two sides agreed at that point that Harden wouldn’t play until after Thursday’s deadline, the former MVP appeared to have already checked out on the team, according to Wojnarowski and Shelburne, who say Harden informed management he was headed to Houston on Wednesday to wait out the deadline.
Here’s more from Wojnarowski and Shelburne on the Harden/Ben Simmons blockbuster:
- Marks and Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey engaged in plenty of posturing in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline before eventually getting more serious late on Wednesday night, sources tell ESPN. Up until that point, Marks had listened to a couple of Morey’s trade pitches, but rebuffed them.
- According to Wojnarowski and Shelburne, when the two sides reengaged and eventually neared the finish line on Thursday, Marks told Morey he needed to hang up the phone to run the proposed deal by Tsai, prompting Morey to yell, “Stay on the f—ing phone!” Marks jokingly replied, “We’re dropping F-Bombs now, Daryl?” He ultimately got Tsai’s approval to move forward on the trade.
- Simmons’ agent Rich Paul met with Nets star Kevin Durant and Durant’s business partner Rich Kleiman nearly a month ago and pitched the idea of a Harden/Simmons swap, per Wojnarowski and Shelburne. Durant initially wasn’t interested in the idea, but the equation changed after he injured his knee and Harden became increasingly disengaged during his absence.
- Harden doesn’t have a direct history with Sixers star Joel Embiid, but has always been a fan of the center and pushed Morey to trade for him when they were both in Houston, according to ESPN’s duo. “James respects players who do a good job defending him,” one source said. “And Joel has always done that.”
- Although Simmons never got over what he viewed as a lack of public support from head coach Doc Rivers following last spring’s playoff loss to the Hawks, the two men had been speaking again in recent weeks, with conversations “increasing in substance,” per Woj and Shelburne. However, their final conversation on Thursday was mostly just an exchanging of pleasantries, sources tell ESPN.
54 thoughts on “Harden Directly Asked Nets’ Marks, Tsai For Trade To Sixers”
Storyline should read. “Tale of 2 overgrown infants; the Harden/Simmons Saga”.
Yet we all still read it
Doesn’t change the fact that the title would be accurate.
Well, yeah, people love reading about rich people when they fail and act like idiots.
Been going on since news was a thing.
I blame Americans. We are sheep. Well most of us
I don’t believe Harden’s commitment to any team is genuine.
Joke Tsai gets both Irving and Simmons, two No. 1 overall picks, LOL
Harden should go down like the chump he is. Just read Tim McMahons article about how harden forced the rockets to get Westbrook and said he’d walk if they didn’t get him. Once they got him that’s when harden acted like a clown and that’s what made Westbrook want out. Forced 2 trades in 2 seasons that will be what he’s remember for just like Durant will be remembered for having to join a super team to win a ring
Thank you! We need more people like you to defend the sanctity of the modern NBA.
Jerry West forbid a league paying people millions of dollars to play a game be influenced by money or something other than “the love of the game.”
Did you ever watch Field of Dreams?
What… the… hell…are you talking about? Jerry West forbid a league paying ppl millions????
“Jerry West Forbid” like “god forbid” it’s a saying because the NBA is a precious religion that will not be sullied by base human desires!
If they change the silhouette in the NBA logo from Jerry Wes to Kobe Bryant, will it be “Kobe Bryant forbid” from then on?
A rapist should never be used as a logo
Exactly! It would then become “by Kobe! Stop the match! This is James Harden the phenomenal one, if you will, WITH A CHAIR!”
Well now they all just do it for the money. There is no passion for the game anymore. They get free college degrees then millions and millions of dollars. To play a sport . I have dine more in my life then play a sport or sing songs . The important things in life that we worship
I felt that since his second or 3rd year in the NBA that Durant was the 2nd best player in the league behind LeBron. Sort of a bit of an upgraded version of a combination of the Lakers SF’s James Worthy and Jamaal Wilkes.
But for some reason he can’t really lead a team. Maybe he’s just quiet by nature.
He’s 33 now with a lot of mileage on him. He’s not 26 years-old and in fine shape. He’s slowed down, has more injuries and they take longer to heal. What he needs to win with the Nets is a young leader with vim and vigor, along with a don’t quit attitude, the maturity to lock out anything not to do with basketball, maturity, and the ability to make his teammates better. Kyrie Irving has none of those qualities. Never has. Never will.
Durant will forever be remembered as the best pure scorer in NBA history. He’s never demanded a trade or just sat out. He always played out his contract. Durant just got tired of Westbrook’s B.S. and jumped ship so he could win a ring.
Durant will forever be known as a talented player who was up 3-1 on one of the greatest teams ever.. then after blowing that 3-1 lead, he knew he doesn’t have what it takes and had to join that exact great team to get a ring. He’s a ring chaser just like the rest of them
Just my opinion
Both Irving and Simmons need Psychotherapy.
I give them a new nickname “Headbash Brothers”
Copy from “Splash Brother”
The Brooklyn Narcissists.
That word is way over used by people who don’t really understand what it means. They’re not narcissists
Narcissist/noun-a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves.
I don’t think it’s fits Irving or Simmons. Does fit Harden however.
When are these bozos actually going to play??!!??
Harden is a bum, and a clown for the way he’s acted in Houston and now in Brooklyn. Ditto Darryl Morey.
What exactly did Morey do to earn your scorn? He inherited this mess.
The word “clown” is overused by people who don’t know what it means. Harden is actually not a clown.
Clown or little bi*ch take your pick when it comes to harden. So Simmons gets all this heat for sitting out the season why does harden get a pass for how he got his way out of Houston and Brooklyn. 4pts Vs the kings.. enough said
Dude…. does it SOUND like Harden is getting a pass? Dude is getting crushed in the media. You see the all-star draft onTNT? Hilarious.
I was referring to the guy above me who clearly stated Harden is a clown. The draft was just Durant being butthurt about harden leaving. The nba all star game is about as entertaining as the pro bowl. Only interesting all star game is baseball because it actually means something so they try
you suggested that Harden was getting a pass. he isn’t.
Until this week, I didn’t understand how Durant could continue to think of KI as a good teammate. But, if Harden is the baseline, then he is.
Tsai, Marks and Durant – all 3 seem to want to turn their anger into a reset, but who knows how long that will last (1-2 years?). Particularly having to deal with Simmons and KI.
Durant must be cursing himself for signing that extension. Of course he could always take a cue from his pal James and request a trade… And honestly, daring minds could argue that it might be best for both parties … Brooklyn could get a ransom for him right now.
Surprised at the overall optimism I’ve heard about this new iteration of the Nets. If it was in 2K I’d agree – Nets won the trade. But as soon as you swap out the AI for Kyrie and Simmons’ actual psyches it all goes down hill
I am too (surprised), particularly that the talking heads are really ignoring the super team in PHI (and the extortion that formed it), and instead focusing on how much they like the Nets’ assets going forward. I agree, longer term, but aligning the Durant and Simmons timelines is still a challenge. I’d love it if, by some miracle, it all comes together this year and they take out Philly in the playoffs. I’m a BKN fan for the rest of this year. That makes at least 10 of us in the city.
Harden isn’t afraid of the game. Sixers win the trade by default. Simmons has never loved to hoop.
This is a big trade for harden. He has forced his way out of two teams(Houston and nets). He needs to get this one right. Sixers have the talent to go deep in the playoffs if he is engaged
He also broke up what could have been a homegrown dynasty in Okc as well
Harden didn’t break up OKC. That was the NBA
and Thunder ownership. Because of the huge luxury tax they would have paid had they kept Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka and Harden. Presti already had a Westbrook and Durant locked up so he had to choose between Harden and Ibaka.
It was 3 million more if I remember correctly that harden wanted that they said no to and the next day he was traded to Houston
that’s not “breaking up” a team. he wanted his money and he wanted a chance for be more than a 6th man.
I was always a Harden fan back when he was in Houston but the last 15+ months hearing more about the way he acts and carries himself, not a huge fan….which I know, he doesn’t care and no else does, but his image has taken a major blow
All these endless discussions about Simmons, Haden, Lebron, Durant, Irving, etc. is irrelevant. They’re all past their prime, and their 2-3 man teams playing playground ball is being passed up by at last 10 teams of youngsters playing together.
David Stern marketed the NBA around individual stars. The league refs and others pitched in. That NBA is gone. Rule changes were put in place to do it. The majority of owners got fed up with stars playing with their friends, undermining the FO and coaching staffs. They have a right to compete by building solid, deep young teams that pass the ball around and play team defense. It’s fun for the players, fun for the coaches, fun for FO’s, and most of all – fun for the local fans.
None of what I wrote about in the previous paragraph is understood in this chatroom. NBA fans in Philly, Phoenix, Milwaukee, Miami, Memphis, Cleveland, Chicago, and other cities are loving what their teams have done so far this year…and they’re young and going to get better.
While I agree with most of what you said a 1/2 of Embiid and harden could be pretty deadly if you get baller harden and not diva harden.
you’re ridiculous if you truly, truly think that the teams LBJ joined and brought championships to them were not completely grateful to him. somehow a team being completely built by the GM thru drafting, trades and FA are some how morally better than teams that USE STAR PLAYERS to do half the work on their behalf to bring in others. You do realize the owners and GMs have to AGREE to bring in these players right? You’re acting as if they don’t have 100% of the power on all decisions. Even LBJ can beer told no if they feel a kind of way.
Moreyon got what he wanted. It’s good for both teams. Although long term Nets did better. And they should since they gave up a lot for Harden.
Did you guys hear the contract Harden will be eligible for. He can sign for max and 5 yrs. And be getting 64-66 mill at age 37-38. I would never sign that guy He’s taking Sixers down
I don’t know why ppl keep pointing to this. If he’s not playing up to that level at that time then he won’t be demanding that contract. He’s also running out of places to go. he and Morey have a good relation. Short of performing at a MVP level and staying healthy, he’s not getting a max from philly unless deserved.
If you really think Morey isn’t going to offer Harden the max as soon as he can you haven’t been watching. Notice how Daryl Morey Tad Brown and James Harden all went from Houston to Philly in a little over a year? Morey has a hard on for harden that will never go away
No. I don’t think it’s an automatic that he gets a max. Morey wants to win a chip. If Harden isn’t playing up to a max level player level then I don’t think he’ll be offered a max contract. It can still be very lucrative but maybe not the max.
Bottom line is players like Simmons and Harden don’t give a damn about fans paying tickets… They only care about their big paychecks… It’s a sad, repulsive spectacle…
I think harden cares more about the strip club lineup then anything else
I think Ben Simmons cared more about his mental health than the paycheck because he’s been docked every game paycheck since the beginning of the season.
Ben cared about being shown up. You really mean to tell me his delicate mental health is going to clear up in days because instead of facing the harsh Philadelphia fans and media he’ll face the fans and media in NY? Unless his outside shooting and FT shooting have improved its going to be a tough go at it in NY. He can’t hide behind guys like Irving and Durant who very prickly with the media too.
I haven’t watched the Nets since Durant went down. And honestly didn’t watch that much while he was playing. BECAUSE THE TEAM HAS TOO MUCH DRAMA. I watch to relax and be entertained by basketball. Hopefully they can put this new group together into a team. I doubt they will because of the Kyrie situation. However, they have a crazy deep collection of talent. Definitely one of the deepest teams I’ve ever seen. I hope Brooklyn plays Simmons at center and we get to see him guarding Embiid and Embiid trying to guard him grudge match style.
Can’t wait for him to stop at the top of the key, dribble between his legs and few times slowly and then drive to the hoop and draw a foul without so much as looking for an open teammate.