The Houston Rockets have zero interest in trading James Harden to Philadelphia for Ben Simmons, something ESPN’s Tim MacMahon said on the most recent Brian Windhorst Hoop Collective podcast (hat tip Real GM). “I’ve already been told with a few expletives included by somebody with the Rockets: ‘No, Daryl, James Harden for Ben Simmons is not happening. Don’t ask.’”
Adrian Wojnarowski: There is a front office that had a lot of input around Elton (Brand) and I think he tried to navigate all that the best he could having come up pretty quickly out of his playing career, worked in the front office and made the adjustment really fast, I think, to doing the job really working hard at it. And now I think it remains to be seen. I think the initial plan or the initial thought is that Elton may stay. He is welcome to stay. It’s a question of, does it make sense for him? Obviously, Daryl, you know, when Daryl is running the team, he’s running the team. And so that’s a different. I think that’s a conversation. So for Elton brand, I know he’s well regarded by Doc and Daryl coming in and ownership. And so we’ll see how that plays out.
5 hours ago via ESPN
And so Wednesday’s news that Daryl Morey was coming aboard to be the Sixers’ new president of basketball operations means that Brand, who reportedly is staying with the organization, will be losing his power. He may end up being the person who explores trades on Moray’s behalf, but he’ll no longer be running the show and bringing his prospective deals to owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer for their approval. Brand did not answer a call seeking comment. “This is part of the competitive nature of sports, where owners want to win and there is enormous pressure to win, and Daryl Morey is considered to be a first-class executive,” said a league source who did not want to be identified by name.
Maybe Embiid and Simmons are destined for a breakup, but executives around the league say it would be shocking if it happened before next season—or during the season. The Rockets have experienced annual crash landings in the postseason, which Sixers fans can relate to. But you can’t simply blame the star players in either situation. The Sixers’ duo has had great success together, and in their own ways, play an efficient brand of basketball. The problem is the lack of an offensive initiator who can generate plays in the half-court to elevate their strengths.
Storyline: Ben Simmons Trade?