Report: Houston Rockets reveal their true intentions with possible James Harden-Ben Simmons trade

Brad Sullivan
2 Min Read
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

While the Houston Rockets could potentially trade for Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons, a new report indicates that they won’t give up James Harden to acquire him.

ESPN’s Tim MacMahon appeared on the network’s the Woj Pod and dismissed any idea that the Rockets would be shaking up their roster by trading Harden.

The main reason for such a rumor to circulate is the fact that former Rockets general manager Daryl Morey was recently hired by the 76ers to run their basketball operations.

Morey acquired the 31-year-old Harden from the Oklahoma City Thunder and watched as the veteran guard became one of the NBA’s top players. During the 2016-17 season, Harden led the league with 11.2 assists per game and has paced the NBA the past three years by averaging over 30 points per game during each season.

However, all that individual success for Harden didn’t lead to any championships for the Rockets, which resulted in the departures of Morey and former head coach Mike D’Antoni

Simmons is only 24 years old and has had three consistent seasons for the 76ers, who have also come up short during the postseason in recent years.

That lack of playoff success for the 76ers resulted in head coach Brett Brown leaving and Doc Rivers taking his place.

Last year, Simmons signed a five-year contract extension that will pay him $170 million through the 2024-25 campaign.

In 2017, Harden signed a four-year contract extension with the Rockets worth $228 million. The last year of that deal is for the 2022-23 campaign, with Harden having a player option that will pay him $47.4 million.

Both the Rockets and 76ers remain talented teams despite their shortcomings, but it’s clear that one proposed blockbuster deal won’t be taking place.

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Brad has written on a variety of both NBA and NFL topics and has worked previously as a sports information director at the collegiate level. A lifetime fan of sports, he's witnessed countless great moments in different sports and understands that stories can be compelling from both the perspective of winners and losers. As a frustrated fan of Cleveland sports, he experienced something unprecedented when the Cavaliers won the city's first championship in 52 years.