NBA rumors: 76ers might be saving Ben Simmons trade to make a run at James Harden

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The Athletic reports that the Philadelphia 76ers may not trade Ben Simmons until they make a run at Brooklyn Nets star James Harden.

Much like it has been throughout this past offseason, there is no traction on the Philadelphia 76ers moving on from Ben Simmons. After requesting a trade prior to the start of the season, Simmons has yet to suit up for the 76ers due to reportedly not being mentally ready. Sixers fans should not expect a trade to occur at this season’s deadline.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Sam Amick, the 76ers prefer to wait until they can make a run at James Harden or another superstar in the offseason before trading Simmons. The purpose for waiting is so they can use Simmons in a potential sign-and-trade deal, per Charania and Amick.

76ers reportedly holding on Ben Simmons trade until they make a run at James Harden

Charania and Amick note in their article that this will be Philadelphia’s plan unless they are blown away by an offer made by another team by the Feb. 10 trade deadline.

Harden is under contract for the remainder of the season. But for next season, he has a player option worth $47.3 million. It is not necessarily shocking that Philadelphia would be interested in. pursuing him, considering team president Daryl Morey was with Harden on the Houston Rockets. Not only that, but the 76ers were trying to land Harden in a trade last season before the star ultimately chose to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets.

This season, Harden is averaging 22.7 points, 10.1 assists and 8.0 rebounds while shooting 41.9-percent from the field and 33.8-percent from the three-point line through 41 games.

As for the 76ers, they sit firmly in the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. It will be interesting to see if they are to receive an offer by the deadline that could help boost their odds of reaching the NBA Finals. If not, based on the report from The Athletic, they will wait until the offseason to move on from Simmons.

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