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RUMOR: Sixers’ Ben Simmons trade package could not beat Nets in James Harden deal

Sixers, Ben Simmons, Rockets, James Harden

The Philadelphia 76ers did end up offering Ben Simmons in a trade package for James Harden on Wednesday, but it wasn’t enough to re-unite the disgruntled superstar with Daryl Morey.

The inclusion of the 24-year-old Simmons did not sway the Houston Rockets away from the offer from the Brooklyn Nets, where Harden ultimately landed.

“The Rockets were looking at one other serious suitor: the 76ers,” The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on NBA TV. “They did put Ben Simmons in their proposal. But at the end of the day, the Nets’ total offer just supplanted that.”

As Charania noted, the Sixers were unwilling to add the combination of draft capital and young talent that Houston desired.

“The Sixers … were diligent and did have a threshold that they just would not get to. They wanted to be very disciplined in their process and not mortgage their entire future, along with Ben Simmons, along with any younger players that they might have just to go get someone that — again, James Harden is 31, he does have two years left on his deal before a player option. But, the Philadelphia 76ers were the other team that was significantly in conversations.”

Watch Charania’s full report on the Sixers’ role in the trade talks below:

Based on various reports, Houston wanted Philly’s offer to included Simmons, Tyrese Maxey, Mattise Thybulle and multiple draft picks.

In the end, Houston opted to send the 2018 MVP to his preferred destination in Brooklyn. The Nets’ package was highlighted by three first-round picks (2022, 2024, 2026) and four first-round pick swaps (2021, 2023, 2025, 2027).

In addition, the Nets sent talented wing Caris LeVert to Houston. He was promptly flipped to the Indiana Pacers for guard Victor Oladipo.

Brooklyn also sent center Jarrett Allen and forward Taurean Prince to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Rockets received guard Dante Exum from Cleveland and Rodions Kurucs from Brooklyn.

Houston also got Cleveland’s 2022 first-round pick (via the Milwaukee Bucks) and a second-round pick from Indiana. Brooklyn received a second-round pick from the Cavs.

After all the dust settled, Ben Simmons remains a Sixer, Harden is a Net, and only one of those franchises still has future draft picks.