When James Harden moved to the Brooklyn Nets, many felt that it was the start of an NBA title charge. The trio of Harden, Durant, and Irving was a fantasy that professional basketball managers dream of. However, things didn’t go quite as planned for the Nets. Since the signing of Harden, there have only been 16 games in which the trio has played on the court together. This is why the move to the Sixers instantly looks so appealing to all parties.
It gets worse when you take this season into account. Just two games have seen all three appear together. With Harden entering free agency in the off-season, it makes sense that they were looking for a trade. This is where the Sixers come in.
Sixers had to make a move
With the Sixers looking strong this season, a move for Harden arguably puts them into the championship conversation. A big reason for this is Ben Simmons. Simmons is an undoubtedly talented player, but he was causing issues in the Sixers camp. This has been well covered in the past, but it makes complete sense to move him on for the good of the team. However, bringing in Harden at the same time could be a masterstroke. This fluidity of movement when it comes to players makes the NBA such a popular viewing spectacle.
Harden adds some much-needed quality to the Sixers roster. On top of that, the potential link-up with Embiid is something that grabs the attention right away. Bringing Harden in and removing a rotten apple in Simmons, the Sixers could be an outside bet to win the finals.
Positives for the Nets
Although Simmons was a rotten apple at the Sixers, it might not be the case at the Nets. The trouble all started due to public comments. With a fresh slate, Simmons could easily be an asset to the Nets. Especially if he feels he has a point to prove.
Added to this, the Nets have also traded in Seth Curry. Although he’s not on the same level as his brother, Seth is still a solid player. He has hit his highest ever PPG this season, and he could certainly add a lot to the Nets roster. This is especially true with Curry able to fill the gap that Joe Harris’s injury has left.
The Nets also get unprotected first-round picks for the 2022 and 2027 drafts. This is definitely a positive for a Nets team that needs some new blood.
With the Nets currently sitting inside the playoff positions, it will be beneficial to shake up the roster a little bit. While they are unlikely to make a push for the championship, the groundwork could be laid for next season.
What does Harden add to the Sixers?
To put it simply, Harden is the perfect player to get the most out of Joel Embiid. Harden is an elite playmaker. Embiid has been hitting MVP-level performances this season without high-class perimeter creation. With Harden added to the backcourt, expect his game to hit another level.
However, Harden is no slouch at scoring himself either. He’s hit 22.5 PPG even in a season where he hasn’t been at his best. Coming into a Sixers team that is built for him, expect him to be back to his best. With Embiid taking a lot of double teams, Harden can remove some of the attention.
This is a positive trait in a Sixers team looking to win a fourth championship.
Can the Sixers win the Championship?
The Sixers are indeed in a good position. They’ve played one game less than the Heat and are just three wins behind them. This is without adding a point-scoring machine in the form of Harden to the roster. The team won’t feel the loss of Simmons because he hasn’t been playing. To put it simply, the Sixers are stronger now since the trade took place.
Doc Rivers certainly thinks the trade has given them a good chance at the championship. In comments to the media, he said he thinks the signing gives them a chance at the Championship.
Harden’s hamstring tightness is also a blessing in disguise. It means he will have a little more time to integrate with his new teammates. The Sixers obviously did the signing with the intention of taking a run at the championship this season. Harden is 32 and has lost a little step over the years; he’s not a future prospect. This signing is for the here and now.
It might seem like an outside bet, but the Sixers have made positive moves. You can get the Sixers at 7.50 right now, making it a solid choice for added value. It makes sense to get in on this bet before Harden makes his debut. If he hits the ground running, those odds could fall significantly. It’s important to remember that this isn’t a banker bet, so use a small portion of your budget for it. Perhaps consider a single unit or two units if you’re a Sixers fan.
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