By Tommy Matthews
The Sixers have traded Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two No. 1’s to the Nets for James Harden.
The Sixers also acquired veteran forward Paul Millsap in the deal, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Nets will receive the Sixers’ 2022 first-round pick unprotected with a right to defer until 2023 and a 2027 first-round pick protected from draft slots 1-to-8, sources tell Wojnarowski. The 2027 pick would roll over to 2028 protected Nos. 1-to-8 again., and turns into two seconds and $2 million in 2029, according to Wojnarowski.
The Nets acquired Harden in January 2021 as part of a megadeal to unite the three-time NBA scoring champion with fellow superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
But less than 13 months later, the reeling Nets — mired in a nine-game losing streak amid Durant’s knee injury and Irving’s limited availability because of his COVID-19 vaccine stance — parted ways with Harden, who had wanted a trade to the Sixers, according to Wojnarowski.
Harden will be reunited with Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey — who oversaw Harden’s rise to superstardom in Houston — and join forces with current MVP favorite Joel Embiid in Philadelphia, which enters Thursday atop the Atlantic Division standings.
The trade, agreed to just hours before today’s 3 p.m. ET deadline, also marks the end of Simmons’ stint with the Sixers, who drafted him No. 1 overall in 2016.
Simmons, 25, has not played this season, citing mental health issues, and had been seeking a trade since this past offseason. The three-time All-Star and former Rookie of the Year has been accruing fines from the Sixers since he decided not to report to training camp last year.