The James Harden to Brooklyn trade turned the NBA world upside down. It was a great four team trade for all parties involved.
Brooklyn gets its third star they wanted, to push them over the edge. The Rockets remain competitive by getting a good shooting guard in Victor Oladipo, while retaining a HAUL of first round picks to help build for the future. The Pacers got a good young player in Caris LeVert, who can develop into a star alongside Malcolm Brogdon, and Domantas Sabonis. Then finally the Cleveland Cavaliers got a steal in center Jarrett Allen, a young player with a lot of upside.
Neither of the four teams lost this deal. I honestly think this is one of the few win-win trades in recent memory. However, the biggest loser of this trade, was the team that was not involved. That team resides in the city of brotherly love: the Philadelphia 76ers
The Sixers blew it. They had this amazing opportunity to make a trade for a top-seven NBA player, and they completely whiffed. Look, I am sorry but Ben Simmons is not getting a jump shot any time soon. Its not going to happen, and he cannot be your primary creator on offense alongside Joel Embiid. This is not a knock on Ben Simmons, he is a phenomenal player. He can pass the ball really well, he can guard 1-5, and his finishing at the rim is among the best in the NBA. However, he is holding your offense back. Getting a guy like James Harden, a sure fire 30 PPG scorer, and one of the best playmakers in the NBA, would instantly make the Sixers the favorites in the East. Can you imagine the Harden-Embiid pick and roll? I mean Harden made Clint Capela look like a top-five center when they were together. Imagine what he could do with a guy like Embiid. No one is stopping that duo in the East. You have to deal with the craftiness of Harden, and the low post game of Embiid. Instead, Philly turned that down to keep the Simmons-Embiid duo. That duo is not going to win you a championship, or keep you in tough series come playoff time.
Having an offensive mastermind like Harden would have done WONDERS for this team.
I get it, Philly had concerns about whether or not Harden fits their culture, and if issues would arise with the team. Maybe Daryl Morey knows something we don’t. However, when you have a opportunity to get a player of this magnitude, you have to take it. This can separate you from other contenders, and put you over the top. Unless, Philly turns around,and trades for Bradley Beal, then they are clearly a tier below Brooklyn not that they have Harden. Philly played this like a scared cat, and this will come back to haunt them soon. The city of brotherly love won’t be full of love come playoff time.