How was your week

Posted: February 12, 2022 by Sports Time Radio in sports

After weeks of speculation by NBA experts and most of them agreeing it wouldn’t happen at the trade deadline on Thursday the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers agreed to a trade that has sent James Harden to Philadelphia and Ben Simmons to Brooklyn.

This trade ended up coming together very quickly and, in the end, the 76ers received Harden and Paul Milsap while the Nets will receive Simmons along with Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two 1st round picks.

The two 1st round picks that Brooklyn received are a 2022 1st round pick that they have the right to defer to 2023 if they choose two. The other 1st round pick is a top eight protected 2027 or 2028. Now if they pick ends up being protected and the Nets can’t use it then it becomes two 2nd round picks and $2 million dollars instead.

Now in conjunction with this trade the Nets had to clear a roster spot. To open up that spot they waived DeAndre Bembry to make room.

It had become clear that Harden wanted off of the Nets and in Simmons case he hadn’t played for the 76ers all season and had no plans to play this season.

Of course, the question will become who got the better of this deal and let’s face it figuring that out isn’t going to be easy.

Obviously with Simmons not playing he’s going to have a lot of ground to make up but going to the Nets he won’t be looked upon to score with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on that roster. Will Simmons finally have the chance to grow into the player that people thought he’d be when he was taken with the 1st pick overall in the 2016 NBA draft?

Simmons biggest issues have been shooting the basketball both at the free throw line and from behind the 3-point line. Simmons rarely if ever actually will shoot a 3-point shot. In his four-year NBA career Simmons has only taken 34 3-point shots. He is 5 for 34 from the 3-point line in his career which equates to a 3-point shooting percentage of 14.7%. Since Simmons played point guard in Philadelphia, he had the basketball in his hands a lot and was expected to go to the free throw line. The problem became the fact that he shot just 59.7% from the free throw line in his career.

Now the move for Simmons that may help him the most is not having to have the basketball in his hand all the time. Durant and Irving will handle the majority of the scoring and ball handling with the Nets. This may allow Simmons to find a new position for himself and play closer to the basket possibly in a post-up position against smaller guards.

Now Simmons hasn’t played in an NBA game since June of 2021 when the 76ers were eliminated by the Atlanta Hawks in the playoffs. While you’d like to think that Simmons has been working out and staying in shape there’s a difference between being in shape and being in game shape.

Of course, the Nets themselves have some issues to get straighten out. Brooklyn has lost 10 straight games. Durant is still out injured, and Irving’s status is always game to game not only with his vaccination status and the other problems he’s had throughout his career. The Nets are currently in 8th place in the Eastern conference and as of now would have to go through the NBA’s play-in format of the playoffs.

Now, from the 76ers side of this deal it looks as though they gave up quite a bit to get Harden, but he’s one of the top players in the NBA and Philadelphia appears to be in win now mode.

Harden has been out with a hamstring injury, and it has yet to have been announced when he’ll make his debut for the 76ers, but when he does Philadelphia will have quite a duo in the lineup teaming Harden with Joel Embiid.

Everyone knows Harden can score and has led the NBA in scoring three times during his career, but he shouldn’t need to be the type of volume scorer he’s been in the past with Embiid on the court with him. Harden does like to control the basketball and can dominate it to the point of maddening his teammates, but don’t forget that while he does have the basketball in his hands a lot, he’s averaged 6.7 assists per game in their career and the last three seasons he’s averaged over 10 assists per game. Harden was averaging 22.5 points and 10.2 assists per game with the Nets this season.

Embiid is having an MVP caliber season. He’s averaging 29.3 points per game and 11.1 rebounds per game while leading the 76ers to a 33-22 record which is currently good for 5th place in the Eastern conference.

If Harden can find a way to fit in with Embiid and the rest of the 76ers it should give Philadelphia the chance they wanted to this trade which is to win the NBA title. The other question in Philadelphia could be, do they have someone else ready to step up and produce with Harden and Embiid?

Philadelphia does have veterans Danny Green and Tobias Harris on their roster and Harris has shown that he can score at the NBA level when given the chance and is still averaging close to 20 points per game. Green is more of an open look 3-point shooter, but every team needs that player who can knock that -pointer down when needed. If either or both of these two can step their game up Philadelphia should become a real threat to win the Eastern conference and have that chance to win the NBA title.

As always, I’d like to know your thoughts on this trade. Please let me know what you think of it in the comment section.

Now yesterday on the Sports Time Radio podcast which aired live on BlogTalkRadio.com Schaumburg Stu, and I made our Super Bowl predictions. Schaumburg Stu went with the Cincinnati Bengals to win 28-24 and he has Joe Burrow as his MVP. Now I’m going with the Los Angeles Rams to win by a score of 31-28 with Aaron Donald winning the MVP. With these two picks both Schaumburg Stu and I see the Bengals covering since they were getting 4 points when we made these picks, and we also see the game going over its projected total. Please leave me your picks for the Super Bowl.

While the podcast did air live yesterday don’t fret if you missed it. Just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you want to.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

Comments
  1. I’m certainly not an expert regarding the NBA but I’d have to give the nod to Philadelphia on this trade. I certainly think they got the better of the trade, but it isn’t a easy one to really give a definitive answer until enough time has elapsed for Simmons to get into playing shape.

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