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Nets trade Harden to 76ers in deal for Simmons

Stacy Revere / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Brooklyn Nets have agreed to trade star guard James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers, the team announced in a statement on Thursday.

Brooklyn will receive Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, and two future first-round picks. The Nets are also sending Paul Millsap to Philadelphia.

Following the move, Harden will also choose to exercise his $47.3-million player option for the 2022-23 season, sources told The Athletic's Shams Charania.

The 2022 selection can be deferred to 2023, and the 2027 pick is protected between Nos. 1-8, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. If the latter doesn't convey that year, it rolls over to 2028 under the same protections. If it again fails to convey, the Nets will instead acquire two second-rounders in 2029 along with $2 million in cash.

The blockbuster deal officially brings an end to the sagas surrounding Harden and Simmons. The former was reportedly hoping for a move to the 76ers, but he didn't want to make a formal trade request due to concerns of public backlash just a year after forcing an exit from the Houston Rockets.

Daryl Morey, Philadelphia's president of basketball operations, acquired Harden in 2012 during his time as the Rockets' general manager. Morey stepped down from his role in November 2020 and quickly moved to his post with the 76ers. He attempted to re-acquire Harden after the 32-year-old requested an exit from Houston.

Harden plans to wear No. 1 with his new franchise, sources told Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes. NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain's No. 13, Harden's signature number, is retired by the organization.

Simmons hasn't suited up for the 76ers all season, reportedly telling the team that he's not mentally ready to play. He's faced team-issued fines for his extended absence.

The three-time All-Star and former Rookie of the Year will keep working with his therapist as he prepares to play in Brooklyn, according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, who adds the 25-year-old is pleased with the move and has already spoken with Nets star Kevin Durant.

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