Ben Simmons is finally leaving Philadelphia courtesy of a blockbuster trade that has reverberated around the NBA.
Ben Simmons’ break-up with Philadelphia is finally official.
The 76ers are getting rid of the disgruntled Aussie in a blockbuster trade confirmed on Friday morning (AEDT) that will see them acquire Brooklyn Nets superstar James Harden.
The Nets are trading Harden to the Sixers for Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two first-round draft picks before the NBA trade deadline, according to ESPN.
Harden declined to sign a contract extension with Brooklyn before this season and is eligible to become a free agent this winter. He’s believed to have issues with anti-vaxxer Kyrie Irving not being able to play home games, because of vaccine mandates in place in New York City.
That, combined with connections he has to people within the Sixers, seemed to pave his road from Brooklyn to Philadelphia.
Brooklyn acquired Harden from the Houston Rockets last year to form a “Big Three” with Irving and Kevin Durant, giving up three first-round picks, four first-round swaps, Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince and Rodions Kurucs.
The Nets then lost to last year’s eventual champions Milwaukee Bucks in a seven-game second-round playoff series in which both Harden and Irving suffered injuries.
Simmons has not played this season after requesting a trade for the 76ers during the offseason. The Melbourne-born star reportedly didn’t feel supported after a rough showing in last year’s playoffs and earlier this season was said to not be mentally ready to play for Philly.