With the NBA Trade Deadline now just days away, the rumors are heating up that Brooklyn Nets star James Harden could actually be involved in a potential Ben Simmons blockbuster with the Philadelphia 76ers. Steve Nash himself has said the Nets have no intention of trading their veteran guard while Sean Marks also shut down any negotiations for him. Still, the Sixers still remain optimistic they can land Harden either this week or in the offseason when he hits free agency.

So who exactly believes The Beard would be keen on playing in Philly? Sixers co-owner Michael Rubin and president Daryl Morey.

Via ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski:

The Sixers’ (32-21) strong play behind MVP candidate Joel Embiid seems to have bolstered their resolve to wait on Harden — if not at the trade deadline, then in the offseason. Because even as Harden tells the Nets that he wants to stay long term, two people with significant history and relationships with him — Sixers minority owner Michael Rubin and Morey — believe Harden is interested in playing in Philadelphia, sources said.

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Of course, Harden worked with Morey during their time on the Houston Rockets. Rubin meanwhile, is apparently very close friends with the former scoring champ. This will undoubtedly be seen as a positive in the Sixers’ pursuit of Harden.

The 32-year-old is reportedly interested in exploring his options elsewhere this summer and has voiced his displeasure with the Nets organization at times this season. The Sixers would certainly be smart to risk it all for Harden, but there are definitely pieces they shouldn’t include. Most notably, promising youngster Tyrese Maxey, who has taken the reins and proved to be the perfect replacement for Ben Simmons.

It’s going to be interesting to see how this James Harden situation unfolds and there is no question Morey and Rubin will play a massive part in the outcome.