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Grading Nets-Sixers deal centered around James Harden, Ben Simmons

The two Atlantic division rivals hooked up for a blockbuster deal involving the superstar guard in Harden.

Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers defends James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets in the first half at Toyota Center on January 03, 2020 in Houston, Texas.  Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets traded James Harden and Paul Millsap to the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday afternoon for Ben Simmons, Andre Drummond, Seth Curry, and two first-round picks, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Here we’ll dish out grades to both teams for the blockbuster deal.

Nets: A

The Nets finally made the tough decision to move from Harden, who seemed to be out the door as the days got closer to the trade deadline. Without Harden, Brooklyn will now lean on the duo of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.

But until Durant comes back from injury, they will roll with what they got from the Sixers in Drummond, Simmons, and Curry. Curry will give the Nets another perimeter scoring threat from beyond the arc to pair with Patty Mills. Drummond is a major upgrade than what they were getting from young center Nic Claxton this season. However, the crown jewel for the Nets is Simmons, who has yet to play a game this year, but will not be looked upon to be a scoring threat with Durant and Irving. Simmons upgrade their perimeter defense and can be another facilitator on the floor.

Sixers: A

If you are Daryl Morey and the Sixers you have to be ecstatic to move Simmons for Harden, who gives them a legit 1-2 scoring punch with MVP candidate Joel Embiid. Harden has not played his best this season with Brooklyn. But he’s still averaging 22.5 points, 10.2 assists, and 8.0 rebounds per game.

The pressure will now be on head coach Doc Rivers to lead this team to a deep playoff run with Harden and Embiid now playing together. Also, it will be interesting to see how Philly goes about filling in Curry’s three-point shooting and Drummond as the backup center.