Marc Stein: The Rockets are pursuing a trade package from the 76ers that would be headlined by Ben Simmons and Tyrese Maxey, league sources say
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Marc Stein: Houston is increasingly determined to complete a James Harden trade as soon as today, league sources say, and has chased the promising Maxey in addition to Simmons Philly is known to covet Houston’s PJ Tucker in addition to Harden while the Nets have also remained in pursuit
The Rockets have pursued a 76ers package centered on All-NBA star Ben Simmons, sources said. Boston and Toronto have also expressed interest at various points. Simmons, a two-time All-Star, has continued to grow his game on the defensive end of the floor. As far as star talent, the Rockets would be able to acquire a player in Simmons whose talent level may not be available elsewhere.
While Wojnarowski doesn’t get into any specifics about what Philadelphia would want, it seems reasonable to assume that if they’re being asked to part with Simmons and draft picks, the 76ers would seek at least one more player from the Rockets — perhaps someone like P.J. Tucker. It doesn’t sound like Houston would be enthusiastic about that scenario though, per Wojnarowski, who says the Rockets will likely want Simmons “plus a bunch more assets” for just Harden. “You saw (Sixers president of basketball operations) Daryl Morey come out yesterday and say, ‘We’re not trading Ben Simmons,’” Wojnarowski said. “Well, I certainly don’t think they’re trading Ben Simmons just in a deal that looks like it’s straight up with some picks for James Harden. I think they’re going to want a lot more than James Harden. That might not be a deal that’s available to the Sixers.”
Shams Charania: The Philadelphia 76ers have made Ben Simmons available in some packages with the Houston Rockets for James Harden, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium. Conversations aren’t fluid as of now.
While the Sixers have signaled a willingness to include All-Star guard Ben Simmons in trade packages for Harden, those talks have come nowhere close to a deal, sources said. The Nets are limited by the Rockets’ interest in their personnel, and likely would need a third team to emerge in talks, sources said. So far, the Rockets steep asking price of young players and pick hasn’t moved any of their discussions into an advanced stage.
Yet even with all that relevant history, this is what matters even more in the moment on this front: Sources say the Sixers want to see what new coach Doc Rivers can do with this new roster and have no urgency to pay anything more than a discount-aisle price for Harden anytime soon. Translation: Two-time All-Star and third-team All-NBA selection Ben Simmons remains off-limits, and these next few weeks will be spent evaluating this revamped group.
Salman Ali: James Harden updates from @Adrian Wojnarowski: -Houston isn’t interested in the Nets package for Harden -If Brooklyn wants Harden, they’d have to pursue a three-way deal to net Houston a blue chip prospect -Philadelphia remains the natural trading partner for Houston because of Ben Simmons pic.twitter.com/XuQP8WoSiX
Marc Stein: The Rockets insist (for now) they will not trade Harden. The Sixers insist (for now) they will not trade Ben Simmons. But sources say the familiarity between the front offices can ultimately defuse any lingering tension from Daryl Morey’s departure from Houston to Philadelphia.
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January 23, 2021 | 5:54 pm EST Update
Shams Charania: Celtics guard Payton Pritchard has a Grade 1 MCL sprain in right knee and expected to return to on-court activities in two weeks.
Adam Zagoria: Former @NovaMBB big man Omari Spellman will play in the G league bubble with the New Orleans G League squad from Erie, per league source. He was in camp with the @New York Knicks
In yet another sign of the upward ascendancy of both the sports card and digital collectibles markets, three limited-edition NBA highlight video cards have sold for more than $30,000 over the past 10 days on NBA Top Shot, a blockchain-based platform that allows fans to buy, sell and trade numbered versions of specific video highlights.
Since its launch, the company has reportedly registered nearly $20 million in sales ($6 million from packs and $14 million on its secondary marketplace) with upwards of $1.5 million in trading volume in January alone.
On January 15, a Ja Morant highlight (No. 1 out of 49) was purchased off the platform’s secondary marketplace for a then-record $35,000. According to The Action Network, the Morant highlight’s original owner got it out of a pack and sold it in November for just under $2,000. That new owner then sold it last week for $35k, making an exceptional return on investment in less than 50 days. Four days after the Morant sale, a group of investors bought a LeBron James dunk highlight (No. 23 out of 59) for $47,500, capping off a 24-hour stretch in which the site saw more than $1 million in sales. Then, on Friday, a collector purchased a No. 1 LeBron James moment from Top Shots’ From The Top Series 1 set for a whopping $71,455, shattering the record.