A blockbuster NBA trade involving a former MVP occurred last week between the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers.
Both franchises are competing at the top of the Eastern Conference, and this trade has seemingly improved both rosters.
The trade sees 76ers get James Harden, Paul Millsap, and The Nets get Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, 2 first-round picks.
For Philadelphia, this was the trade they were waiting for.
After a season-long saga involving Ben Simmons and the 25-year-old’s refusal to play for the team, they have finally got some value out of the former All-Star guard, who they drafted first in the 2016 NBA Draft.
In a trade saga that has dragged on for months, the Sixers were only willing to part with the Australian for good value in return.
The Philadelphia front office had to capitalise on a potential MVP-calibre season from centre Joel Embiid and needed to add another guard to their roster.
Due to Simmons’ refusal to play, the team was lacking guard rotation and the whole roster was missing top-tier perimeter creation.
These are issues that can be rectified by James Harden.
While he may not be the player that won the League MVP in Houston a few years ago, ‘The Beard’ still has a lot to offer, and if he builds a good connection with Embiid, this could be the team that makes it all the way to the NBA Finals.
For the Brooklyn Nets, this trade was unexpected.
The Nets have already had rollercoaster season, entering the season as title favourites thanks to their ‘Big Three’ of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, but due to several issues including Kyrie’s inability to play due to health and safety protocols, they find themselves just above .500% after 29 games.
After Harden, who becomes a free agent in the off-season, seemed unhappy in Brooklyn, the Nets front office looked to make a trade before the deadline.
What this Brooklyn team needed most, was interior-defence, wing defenders and rebounding.
This trade package meets those needs, as Simmons has the potential to be one of the best defensive forces in the league, even with his shooting issues, Drummond is a solid NBA player to add to their big man rotation, Seth Curry is a reliable shooter which will help combat Simmons floor spacing issues.
The Nets will also be happy to get some draft picks back, after trading away all their picks when they initially traded for Harden from the Houston Rockets.
This trade has improved both franchises’ rosters, as the players in the package seemingly fit the needs of each team.
Both teams were already contenders in a strong Eastern Conference and have only improved their title ambitions with this trade.
(Featured Image – credit to Erik Drost under Creative Commons Licence)