A new report indicates that the Houston Rockets’ steep asking price for James Harden was a chief reason why the Philadelphia 76ers ended up not acquiring the superstar guard last week.
Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer indicated the Rockets demanded not only guards Ben Simmons and Tyrese Maxey, but three future first-round picks as well.
“The Sixers missed out on Harden,” O’Connor wrote. “There’s no other way around it. Harden would have given them what they lack in a superstar perimeter shot-creator. But the price was undeniably high. League sources say the Rockets demanded Ben Simmons, Tyrese Maxey, and three first-round picks from the Sixers in return for Harden.”
Harden is a former league MVP and one of the most prolific scorers in the league, which is why the Rockets were eventually able to make a deal with the Brooklyn Nets last Wednesday.
However, Harden’s vast individual talents haven’t translated into any championships for either the Rockets or his original team, the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Simmons is a former top overall pick by the Sixers, while Maxey has started off his rookie year for the team in impressive fashion. Losing both of those players and mortgaging a good portion of the team’s future ended up being too much of a price to pay for the 76ers.
Harden did deliver an impressive debut with the Nets, collecting a triple-double with 32 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds, while also collecting four steals. Yet, it seems clear that the Sixers had no intention of meeting the Rockets’ steep asking price.