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Harden for Simmons headlines NBA Trade Deadline

By the deadline, the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76er went half on a blockbuster. But as trading came to a close which team got the better end of the deal?

James Harden for Ben Simmons headlines NBA Trade Deadline
James Harden for Ben Simmons headlines NBA Trade Deadline

It’s just not the NBA Trade Deadline without a blockbuster.

Woj must have been working overtime last night.

When the buzzer sounded on the last day for deals, James Harden found himself in a new home once again. Heading to Philadelphia in return for defensive player Ben Simmons, who we may finally see in uniform by the end of the regular season.

Just for a different team now.

After the hate he received last year for his lack of a jump shot halting Philly’s process, Simmons demanded a trade and hasn’t played for the Sixers since. Meanwhile Harden was forging a video game like superteam in Brooklyn with Kyrie Irving and former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Kevin Durant that had “dynasty” written all over it like Jay-Z’s Vol. 3.

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Injuries and vaccine hesitancy put a stop to the biggest three in history out in the B.K. though. Right when one of the best one/two punches in the NBA came apart in Philadelphia like Shaq and Kobe.

Now both experiments have come to an end. And new ones are processing.

The Nets won’t gain much this year with Team Durant out for the All-star game and beyond. But when (if) they finally do come together the limitless scoring of Kevin and Kyrie will be countered by a Defensive Player of the Year candidate who won’t even have to worry about taking a single shot. Under the guidance of legend Steve Nash, this could be exactly what Simmons’ career needs.

Ben is back!

Mind you, the 76ers can put up the numbers that will take them deep into the playoffs right now. Joel Embiid is having a monster year. Getting the big-man MVP memo from Denver Nugget Nikola Jokic. Whereas Harden is simply a scoring machine and has already proved that he can fit in right away. This is a wildcard, sure. But one deal that could high roll them all the way past the Bucks if they play this right.

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Philly also receive bruising big-man Paul Milsap in the deal to take more pressure off their superstar centrepiece. Brooklyn in return net some future picks, sharpshooter Seth Curry and big Andre Drummond. Ending his awkward partnership with former rival Embiid. Drummond and the Nets’ returning from retirement post player LaMarcus Aldridge will tween between the pivot position. Just like former Net DeAndre Jordan and last season Sixer Dwight Howard for Drummond’s old LA team out West.

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The Lakers and Russell Westbrook on the other hand didn’t do a thing on deadline day like the first four episodes of ‘Star Wars” ‘The Book Of Boba Fett’.

No matter, there was plenty more to unwrap a month and change after Christmas. The Rockets got Dennis Schröder off Boston along with Enes Freedom and Bruno Fernando for Daniel Theis.

The Wizards picked up Kristaps Porzingis and a future second round pick from the Mavs for Spencer Dinwiddie and David Bertans, as both big-name projects didn’t work out like each team hoped. And Phoenix nabbed Aaron Holiday from the Wiz for a trade exception and some cash considerations.

The scorching Suns also brought back last years big contributor Torrey Craig from the Pacers for a second round pick and Jalen Smith. Welcome back in the desert just like rain.

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Washington weren’t done either, even if the Lake Show’s Rob Pelinka was. Trading away monster former Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell to the Hornets were he will really buzz in the hive. Ish Smith and Vernon Carey Jr. headed to the nations capital for their part of the exchange.

Elsewhere, the Spurs flipped Derrick White to Beantown for Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford and a protected pick in this year’s draft that will come in somewhere between first and fourth. Boston did even more dealing for picks, swapping out Bol Bol and PJ Dozier to Orlando for an eventual second round draft choice to come. Watch this cap space.

Here in Canada the Raps wrapped up vet Thaddeus Young in a package with Drew Eubanks from San Antonio. Dragon Gorgan Dragic earned his Spurs for the Texan team in return. Detroit got involved in that multiple team deal which offered up draft selections like Cheetos too. The Pistons acquired Marvin Bagley III from Sacramento for a King’s ransom of Donte DiVincenzo, Josh Jackson and Trey Lyles.

The Clippers scooped up Semi Ojeleye and Rodney Hood in all this wheeling and dealing. And the reigning champs Milwaukee also got in on the act. The Bucks got some bucks and also strengthed their hold with Serge Ibaka.

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Some major moves came earlier in the week, however. The Pacers and Kings were at it again. Indiana picked up a future in Buddy Hield, Tyrese Haliburton and Tristan Thompson (who they may buyout). And by royal appointment the Kings crowned Domantas Sabonis their new star. Backed up by Jeremy Lamb and Justin Holiday.

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But the most intriguing transaction came first. Putting an end to the best backcourt in the NBA outside The Bay. Damian Lillard will now have to run Rip City without his friend CJ McCollum who called time on his tenure with Dame. CJ has made for Crescent City in exchange for ultimate role player in Josh Hart and some draft compensation.

The Trailblazers also picked up Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Tomas Satoransky, Didi Louzada and a 2022 protected first-round pick as part and parcel of all of this. The Pelicans in return picking up dunking Larry Nance Jr. and Tony Snell.

The landscape of the NBA as a whole didn’t change drastically as the trade horn blared, but it has in the Atlantic. Brooklyn made a move just when they said they’d stand pat, and it’s one that gives Philly an even bigger stake. Pushing the process forward, you can trust there’s talent on hand that could mean this year’s championship is carried by the Sixers.

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