NBA Superstar James Harden Traded From Nets to 76ers in Blockbuster Deal

As the NBA trade deadline loomed, rumors ran rampant regarding potential trades. Which teams would play a part, and which would sit quiet? Which players would fit, and which would go?

On Thursday afternoon, at exactly 3:00 p.m. Eastern time, the world already knew the answers to these questions. And among all of the trades, one blockbuster, in particular, stood out among the rest: the massive trade between the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers.

Despite initial denials and pushback to rumors, it was confirmed that the Nets traded superstar James Harden, along with power forward Paul Millsap, to the 76ers in exchange for superstar Ben Simmons, along with Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, and two future first-round draft picks.

“I’m excited for our team, looking forward to finishing the season out with this new group and these new players,” Nets star Kevin Durant and close friend of Harden said of the trade. “It’s playoffs right around the corner so we’ve to go fast-track in getting used to each other, but I think everybody got what they wanted.”

It was previously assumed that Harden was off the table, due to how much the Nets had given up to acquire him in January 2021. Even Nets head coach Steve Nash said just four days ago that he believed Harden would stay in Brooklyn, stating “I’ve talked to James. James wants to be here.”

Harden, who indirectly requested a trade from the Houston Rockets at the time to join fellow superstars Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn, was viewed as untouchable, given the fact that he was a core element of the Nets’ ‘Big Three’, and the team had given up quite a lot to receive him, most notably homegrown talent Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen, and a slew of first-round draft picks.

Early indications of Harden’s growing unhappiness with the Nets surfaced in late January 2022, when reports had surfaced that he was “unhappy” playing with the team and living in Brooklyn, and felt that the team was underachieving, especially with Kyrie Irving missing half of the team’s games due to his unvaccinated status, and thus inability to play in New York.

On January 25, reports surfaced that suggested that Harden would indeed be open to a trade to the Philadelphia 76ers, joining fellow NBA star Joel Embiid. However, when asked about the reports, Harden dismissed them, stating “I don’t know reports. If you don’t hear from me, then it’s reports.”

Despite this, however, Harden did admit his frustration with the current situation of the team, stating, “Of course I’m frustrated because we’re not healthy. It’s a lot of inconsistency for whatever reason – injuries, COVID, whatever you want to call it… I’m frustrated because I want to win.”

At the time of Harden’s questioning, the Nets were enduring a four-game losing streak. Fast forward sixteen days, and the Nets still have not won a game since, with their losing streak currently sitting at nine games (they do have a chance to turn it around tonight against the Washington Wizards, who were also involved in a major trade).

On January 26, the day following Harden’s questioning, the Nets shot down any trade rumors regarding Harden, standing strong on their stance of their star, and making it clear that they were not open to trading him at that time. Prior to the start of the 2021 season, Harden declined a three-year, $162 million extension with the Brooklyn Nets, choosing to focus on this season rather than the future. He, in essence, indicated that he himself was unsure if he wanted to continue playing for the team into the future.

At the time, Harden’s denial of these rumors made it impossible to know for certain, but fast forward a couple of weeks, and we now have our answer. The Nets had, essentially, traded their future away for Harden, and now, Harden has ended up in the hands of their rivals located an hour-and-a-half south along I-95. The Nets did acquire another star in Ben Simmons, though Simmons has so far sat out the entire 2021-22 season with Philadelphia, as reports indicate he was unhappy with the team.

Regardless, both the Nets and 76ers remain in prime position for success this year, though they have some work to do, as both teams currently sit lower in the division standings. Regardless, they are both now stacked with talent, and the possibility of these teams meeting in the playoffs come April is likely. At that point, the true winner of this trade shall be determined.

What did you think of the trade between the Nets and 76ers? Which team do you think ‘won’ the trade? Let us know, by either leaving a reaction below or by sending us a tweet at @celebsecrets.


  • Chris Kirsch

    Chris is a sports culture writer for Celeb Secrets. Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, he has been writing ever since he could pick up a pen. He also loves traveling, gaming and pizza, and can tell you a thing or two about each. Follow Chris on Twitter @chriskirsch01 to be informed of new articles!

Chris is a sports culture writer for Celeb Secrets. Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, he has been writing ever since he could pick up a pen. He also loves traveling, gaming and pizza, and can tell you a thing or two about each. Follow Chris on Twitter…

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