Woj: 76ers, Nets Haven't Had 'Meaningful' Talks Amid James Harden, Ben Simmons Rumors

Doric SamFebruary 10, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 08:  James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets looks on from the bench in the second half of the game against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center on February 08, 2022 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
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There have been reports swirling that the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers are engaged in trade talks surrounding James Harden and Ben Simmons.

On Wednesday's episode of NBA Countdown, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski dispelled those rumors, saying that the two teams have not been communicating up to this point.

"There has not been meaningful dialogue between the 76ers and the Brooklyn Nets," Wojnarowski said. "Now, that doesn't mean that it won't happen between now and tomorrow's trade deadline. But any potential James Harden trade to Philadelphia, or anywhere, it would take a significant amount of negotiation, and it's not as simple as just Ben Simmons for James Harden."

In addition to reporting that the Nets and Sixers were having trade discussions, ESPN's Brian Windhorst also reported earlier Wednesday that Harden's recent actions towards Brooklyn indicate that he's pushing to be traded. There's also an expectation that the 10-time All-Star will explore free agency this summer, so the Nets might lose him for nothing if they choose to hold onto him past the deadline.

Assuming he isn't traded, Harden (hamstring) is set to miss his fourth consecutive game Thursday as Brooklyn tries to end a nine-game losing skid in a road tilt against the Washington Wizards. The Nets (29-25) have struggled in the absence of star forward Kevin Durant, who hasn't played since Jan. 15 because of a sprained MCL.

Wojnarowski stated that Brooklyn is prepared to ride out this tough stretch without their star players. He said the team believes it will be able to contend for an NBA title once it is back to full strength.

"I think the mindset in Brooklyn right now," he said, "is simply when they get those three players back, Durant, Harden and Kyrie Irving, treat the post-All-Star break, when you expect Durant to come back, as almost a six or seven-week training camp until you get to the playoffs. ... They still believe that's a team that's going to have a tremendous chance to win a championship."

Wojnarowski reiterated that Brooklyn has not yet had any significant discussions with Philadelphia, but he left the door open to a deal getting done at the 11th hour.

"I think right now while you don't rule out the possibility that anything can happen leading up to the trade deadline, Brooklyn and Philadelphia are not engaged in anything meaningful, I'm told," Wojnarowski said.