The Brooklyn Nets traded 3 first spherical selections, 4 select swaps, and gave up each Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert to land celebrity guard James Harden from the Houston Rockets simply weeks into the beginning of remaining season. Harden spent the primary few weeks in Brooklyn taking part in himself into form, however sooner or later gave the impression of the MVP candidate of outdated, placing up All-NBA stage manufacturing for a Nets workforce that hardly had all 3 of its superstars to be had.
Harden would sooner or later injure his hamstring within the first minute of the primary recreation in opposition to the Milwaukee Dollars in the second one spherical of the playoffs. He would go back later within the sequence, however obviously wasn’t wholesome. The Dollars eradicated within the Nets in seven video games and went directly to win the championship, however because the offseason began Brooklyn used to be pegged because the odds-on favourite to win the 2022 championship.
Not anything has long gone proper for the Nets since the ones preseason expectancies have been set. Kyrie Irving’s refusal to get vaccinated stored him out of the lineup all in combination for months earlier than the workforce in any case allowed him to play highway video games. Kevin Durant sprained his knee and might be out as much as six weeks. Joe Harris could be out of the yr with an ankle harm. Harden’s personal play has slipped as neatly, both on account of the lingering results of his hamstring pressure, the league’s new laws adjustments, or a mixture of each.
The Nets lately in finding themselves because the No. 7 seed within the Jap Convention, a some distance cry clear of the place they have been intended to be. Because the Nets have dropped down the standings, rumors of Harden’s frustration have grown loud. Now ESPN is reporting the veteran superstar is doing the whole thing he can to depart Brooklyn forward of the industry closing date — with the Philadelphia 76ers rising as a significant suitor.
ESPN reporter Brian Windhorst went on Get Up and showed the loud hypothesis that have been rumbling during the NBA for days: Harden isn’t satisfied in Brooklyn, and desires to be traded on the closing date. The 32-year-old guard is ready to be a loose agent after the season, and rival groups consider he’ll be at the transfer this summer time if he isn’t traded now.
The Philadelphia 76ers are after Harden for glaring causes. The Sixers have their very own extraordinary storyline occurring with All-Famous person ahead Ben Simmons preserving out all season after his notorious struggles in remaining yr’s playoffs. A Simmons for Harden deal makes such a lot sense on paper, and Windhorst showed all sides are speaking. Windhorst mentioned the 76ers and Nets are within the ‘deal zone’ because the industry closing date approaches Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.
Harden is doing the whole thing he can to power his manner out, in line with Windhorst.
“I will’t inform you how a lot James Harden desires this,” mentioned Windhorst.
Windhorst suggests the way in which Harden performed on the Sacramento Kings used to be a sign he desires out. Harden has due to this fact now not performed at occupied with the Nets.
“He’s screaming in each manner he most likely can ‘I don’t wish to be right here, get me out of right here.’”
Windhorst provides that there might be extra penalties for the Nets in the event that they don’t industry Harden on the closing date.
“That’s what has spurred this into being: James Harden’s elementary feeling ‘I don’t wish to be right here anymore.’”
Harden hasn’t performed on account of a hamstring pressure since a Feb. 2 loss to the Kings, the place he completed with 4 issues on 2-of-11 taking pictures in 37 mins.
Watch a clip of Windhorst discussing the Harden-for-Simmons rumors right here.
Philadelphia lead govt Daryl Morey has an extended historical past with Harden relationship again to their time along with the Rockets. The Sixers even have arguably the main candidate for MVP this season in Joel Embiid. If the deal doesn’t get completed by means of the industry closing date, the expectancy might be that Harden results in Philly this summer time.
Whilst the Nets’ season has been a crisis up to now, there’s nonetheless hope they may be able to get wholesome in time for the playoffs. If Harden and Durant are at complete energy, Brooklyn might be tremendous ambitious even though Irving can handiest play in highway video games.
Adrian Wojnarowski went on ESPN hours after Windhorst’s file and mentioned the Nets and Sixers aren’t lately speaking. “At the moment, there’s no negotiation occurring between Philadelphia and Brooklyn […] The concept that they’re going backward and forward that’s been surmised by means of some, I don’t consider that to be correct.”
Will the Nets actually surrender Harden midseason? Within the ultimate hours earlier than the industry closing date, all the NBA is ready to look if this blockbuster deal will in reality occur.