The Brooklyn Nets are reportedly comfortable letting the James Harden situation be resolved in the offseason with the risk of losing him for nothing if he chooses to leave because they are prioritizing their title chances this season. The Nets and Philadelphia 76ers have not had “meaningful” discussions on a trade of Harden for Ben Simmons, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Wojnarowski’s ESPN colleague, Brian Windhorst, has said that the Nets and 76ers are “in a deal flow” no matter what has been said publicly or privately.
“Let’s start here: we are certainly less than 24 hours from the NBA trade deadline,” said Wojnarowski on NBA Countdown on Wednesday evening. “There has not been meaningful dialogue between the 76ers and the Brooklyn Nets. Now that doesn’t mean it won’t happen between now and tomorrow’s trade deadline. But any potential James Harden trade to Philadelphia or anywhere, it would take a significant amount of negotiation. It’s not as simple as just Ben Simmons for James Harden. So start there.
“I think the mindset in Brooklyn right now is simply when they get those three players back: Durant, Harden, Kyrie Irving, treat the post-All-Star break as almost a six, seven week training camp until you get to the playoffs. Wherever they’re seeded, they still believe that’s a team that’s going to have a tremendous chance to win a championship.
“I think Brooklyn is prepared for the idea that they’ll just treat James Harden, if his plans are to leave, treat it like Toronto did Kawhi Leonard. And say ‘this is probably a one shot deal. We want to win a championship. Our best chance is to do that.’ Who knows what happens when Harden gets back with Kevin Durant. They start playing together again the way they had planned to from the beginning. They’ve been separated because of the injuries.
“I think right now while you don’t rule out the possibility of anything happening leading up to the trade deadline, Brooklyn and Philadelphia are not engaged in anything meaningful I’m told.”