The Philadelphia 76ers are pushing hard to acquire Brooklyn Nets star James Harden by Thursday's NBA Trade Deadline in exchange for Ben Simmons, but they do have a plan to lure him in if that doesn't happen.
The Sixers reportedly believe that offloading Tobias Harris to clear cap space this summer is a real solution to signing The Beard in the summer.
The Sixers are sending a clear message: they view signing Harden outright as a real possibility. If the Sixers eventually need to move Tobias Harris in order to clear the cap space necessary to sign Harden in the summer, sources familiar with the situation say they have two potential suitors with cap space lined up who they could move Harris to if they need to clear the decks. The pick-collecting Thunder are an obvious team to watch. Whether you believe that’s a central part of their plan or a threat meant to bring down the Nets’ current ask, that’s the word that keeps slipping out.
Harris has been playing very well for the Sixers lately, but the franchise realizes that in order to bring in the big fish- if it does happen in the offseason- they're going to need a lot more cap space and Harris could be the casualty.
Nevertheless, Philly will be doing everything imaginable to convince the Nets to trade Harden by the deadline as he's already made it clear he'll likely leave Brooklyn in free agency. After all, it's all about the Sixers building a championship-caliber squad around Joel Embiid while he's in his prime. That is the number one goal.