Another blockbuster trade deadline move, as the power balance shifts yet again in the East. Another major James Harden trade and another team looking to pair stars together. Both teams addressed needs and got better, but we can only wait until postseason to see if this move paid off. 

Brooklyn Nets 

Brooklyn has been forced into making a decision as the deadline drew nearer. As reports started flowing in that Harden didn’t want to be in Brooklyn, it was almost a given that he would leave in free agency if he wasn’t dealt. The Nets were forced to balance the line between not getting a deal done and being low balled for the value of Harden. For the predicament they were in, Brooklyn was able to flip an unhappy Harden for a plus defender and great passer in Simmons, much needed shooting in Seth Curry, a big body in Andre Drummond, and two first round picks. Ben Simmons fits right in because in Brooklyn he won’t be asked to carry the scoring load, and will instead be tasked with facilitating and defending. Two of the strongest parts of Simmon’s game. Brooklyn also got Seth Curry, who will provide much needed shooting and spacing to a team without KD and Joe Harris, their two best three point shooters. Even though Curry is going through a down spell, his mere presence will open the floor up. Something that will be much needed with non-shooters like Simmons. Drummond brings a big rebounding center to help fill in minutes with Claxon. Finally, the Nets got a few first rounders that will most likely be later in the first round, but can still prove beneficial if they find gems. Overall, Brooklyn came out as clear winners in a trade where the only other option was letting your star walk in free agency. 

Philadelphia 76ers 

This was a swing for the fences move. Pushing their chips in for a superstar. After months of asking for low-level stars in exchange for Ben Simmons, the 76ers finally moved their former first overall selection. Now, they are the ones compensating for Curry and Drummond. While the 76ers most definitely didn’t give core pieces, they still paid a hefty price for Harden. If he doesn’t work out, Embiid could be gone and the Process would have failed. But, 76ers fans must trust The Process because if it works this team would be scary. Harden would be able to take some of the load off Embiid, but also facilitate the offense and bring stability alongside Tyrese Maxey. You now have one of the best scoring guards in the league, a young point guard, one of the best centers in the league, and a plethora of wing defense. Those are the ideal ingredients for a Finals push, and with both Harden’s and Embiid’s ability to create mismatches it would be hard to see anyone beating them in a 7 game series. Overall, Philadelphia is taking a major gamble on Harden fitting but he can pay major dividends if used correctly. 

Top Image:Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.