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Report: Nets are trading James Harden to Sixers in deal involving Ben Simmons

The deal finally happened. We go over all the details and the betting impact for the Nets, Sixers and East.

James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets drives against Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers during the third quarter at Wells Fargo Center on February 06, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

It finally happened! The Philadelphia 76ers traded All-Star Ben Simmons in a deal with the Brooklyn Nets involving All-Star G James Harden on Thursday, per multiple reports. The NBA Trade Deadline is set for 3 p.m. ET and the Sixers and Nets were able to work out a deal beforehand. Let’s go over all the details and chronicle this saga a bit.

The Nets are sending James Harden and Paul Millsap to Philly while the Sixers will give up Andre Drummond, Seth Curry, Simmons and two first-round picks. This is a huge win for the Sixers, who don’t give up Matisse Thybulle and Tyrese Maxey in the trade. The big loss for the Sixers is Curry, who was having a great season. Harden replaces Curry at guard and this gives the Sixers the one-two punch they’ve lacked in the past. Here’s some info on the picks going to the Nets:

This changes the complexity of the NBA futures market significantly. The Nets shouldn’t move much and could also be considered favorites. The Sixers also have a chance to overtake Brooklyn as contenders. It really depends on Simmons. If he can get up to speed and contribute at a high level for the Nets, between him Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, that’s a pretty scary lineup. Couple this with the fact the Nets only gave up Harden and Millsap in the deal and acquired Curry and Drummond for depth. Harden is opting into his player option for next season, meaning the 76ers will not have to recruit him in free agency this offseason.

Prior to the deal, the Nets were favorites to win it all at +320. The Sixers were +475 to win the Eastern Conference. We should see those lines move. Philly and Brooklyn could be co-favorites. If the Nets drop down the board a bit, it’s not a bad bet on them to still win it all. Brooklyn improves on defense with a healthy Simmons in the lineup. There’s still KD and Kyrie to carry the scoring load. If Joe Harris can return, a lineup of Kyrie, Harris, Curry, Simmons and KD is sort of disgusting.

Either way, the Nets and Sixers become the top 2 teams in the East. It’s going to be super competitive with the Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers also in the title run mix. It really comes down to Simmons and what he looks like. Until we know he’s going to return to the court and contribute at a high level, it’s hard to make any moves on the Nets. The good thing is it seems Brooklyn’s odds have fallen slightly after the deal. That at least means getting better value on a team that will be super tough to beat at full strength.