Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons has been the center of attention when it comes to trade talks after his disappointing postseason. While he could still be on his way out, it appears the Sixers tried to get rid of him for a much bigger star earlier this year.
Per The Athletic's Sham Charania, Philly was on the verge of trading Simmons to the Houston Rockets for James Harden before he eventually went to the Brooklyn Nets:
Simmons was almost moved to the Rockets along with Matisse Thybulle and two first-round picks in the James Harden negotiations, but Houston traded Harden to the Brooklyn Nets.
Okay, that's absolutely wild. We knew that Philadelphia was interested in Harden, but it wasn't known that Ben Simmons would've been part of the deal. If this did happen, well, the Nets wouldn't have a Big 3 and to be honest, the Rockets could've also been slightly better in 2020/21. Joel Embiid may have had a legitimate superstar running mate as well.
But as is, Harden went to Brooklyn, joined forces with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, then all three were injury-prone which resulted in a Conference finals exit. As for Simmons, well, he basically shut down in the playoffs and has reportedly cut off any contact with the Sixers.
Toronto and Minnesota have offered packages for Ben Simmons, but they haven't been appealing enough for Philly to strike a deal.
Oh, what could've been.