A number of NBA reporters have expressed skepticism that a James Harden/Ben Simmons mega-deal will come to fruition this week, citing sources who say it almost certainly won’t happen. However, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst remains bullish on the possibility of the Nets and Sixers figuring something out before Thursday’s trade deadline.
Appearing on ESPN’s Greeny with Mike Greenberg (video link), Windhorst said the two teams are “absolutely” talking and negotiating possible terms, and suggested Harden would welcome a deal.
“Yesterday, the 76ers were out looking for other moves, talking to other teams about other moves – moving players, opening roster spots – leading those teams to believe that they were getting ready to make the (Harden/Simmons) deal,” Windhorst said. “They have swapped offers, and really right now it’s about haggling (over) the ancillary parts.
“Now, does that mean it’s absolutely going to get done by tomorrow? No, I can’t say that. I’m not sitting in the room. It’s complicated. … But they are in the ‘deal zone’ right now, and so I am leaning toward this probably happening. I don’t want to guarantee it or anything, but I think we’re headed in that direction.”
In an appearance of his own on Greenberg’s show, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (video link) cast doubt on his colleague’s reporting.
“I try not to do the prediction business because you follow the news where it leads,” Wojnarowski said when asked about the likelihood of a Harden/Simmons swap. “But right now, there’s no negotiation going on between Philadelphia and Brooklyn. The trade deadline is tomorrow at 3:00, it can change. But the idea that they’re going back and forth that’s been surmised by some, I don’t believe that to be accurate. … I think, barring a flurry of negotiations and activity that hasn’t happened yet, right now James Harden is likely to be with the Nets.”
Here are a few more trade rumors from across the NBA:
- Although the Kings continue to explore potential trades involving forward Harrison Barnes, they’ve told teams they’re not interested in packages heavy on future assets, per Chris Mannix of SI.com (Twitter link). Sacramento remains focused on competing for the playoffs this season and would want players that could help right away.
- After a report on Tuesday indicated New York has shown interest in acquiring expiring contracts, Mannix suggests the Knicks could “jump in the mix” for Raptors point guard Goran Dragic. However, Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter link) says Toronto doesn’t see Evan Fournier as a fit. The Knicks continue to shop Fournier’s long-term contract around, tweets Steve Popper of Newsday.
- Grange also reports that the Spurs have rebuffed the Raptors‘ interest in center Jakob Poeltl and are seeking more than just a mid first-round pick and expiring salary in exchange for Poeltl.
- The Hawks have been frequently mentioned in trade rumors in recent weeks, with players like John Collins and Danilo Gallinari cited as candidates to be on the move. However, a person familiar with the situation told Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that, as of Tuesday night, there was about a 90% chance that the Hawks would simply stand pat this week.