The Rockets reportedly wanted the Sixers to trade both Ben Simmons and Tyrese Maxey in a potential deal for Harden.
The Rockets are pursuing a trade package from the 76ers that would be headlined by Ben Simmons and Tyrese Maxey, league sources say
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 13, 2021
While Philly ended up not making a deal, one Eastern Conference executive told HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto that the Sixers missed out by not trading Simmons.
“I think Philly missed an opportunity and now is stuck being in the middle of the East,” one Eastern Conference executive told HoopsHype. “They’re not as good as Brooklyn, Milwaukee, Boston, and in the end, Miami. They might just be a No. 5 seed by end of the season. Ben Simmons has not improved in one area of his game at all since coming into the league. He’s the same player today as he was in his rookie year, and teams have figured him out in the playoffs. He’s why they won’t go far.”
Simmons has failed to develop a perimeter game since entering the league. While he is an elite defender, he still leaves a lot to be desired as a player.
However, the Sixers will move forward with Simmons and Joel Embiid as the core of their franchise.
This season, Simmons is averaging 12.6 points, 8.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game.