Ben Simmons, Who Was Traded Out of 76ers, Has Last Laugh By Firing Shots at New Recruit James Harden

Published 05/13/2022, 9:00 PM EDT

Ben Simmons has not had a great last year and a half. During the 2021 NBA playoffs, the Atlanta Hawks repeatedly targeted him and exploited his lack of free-throw shooting skill late in the games. As days went by, the Simmons-Sixers situation got really uncomfortable, and both parties reached an agreement that saw Ben Simmons go to the Brooklyn Nets, while Harden was sent from Brooklyn to Philadelphia.

While Simmons is yet to play for the Nets, Harden has already begun his stint with the 76ers. Safe to say his first season with the franchise did not end well.


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Problems galore

James Harden appears to be a shell of himself during this season. Injuries have taken a toll on his body. One of the problems which the 76ers had with Simmons was his lack of jump shot and long-range shooting ability. It all came to a point when he passed up an open dunk against the Hawks in a winner takes all game 7. The aftermath of that game fractured his relationship with the team and the city of Philadelphia.

Nov 2, 2019; Portland, OR, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward James Ennis III (11) and 76ers forward Tobias Harris (12) celebrate after teammate Philadelphia’s guard Ben Simmons (25) make makes two free throws to give the Sixers a 126-125 lead over Portland Trail Blazers with 10 seconds left in the second half at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, Harden also quit on the Houston Rockets and was traded to the Brooklyn Nets. He enjoyed a productive year last season but since then has been continuously hampered by injuries. When he was traded to the 76ers, it was hoped that he would rediscover his form, but that has certainly been not the case. After a dismal performance from the ‘Beard’ in Game 6, Simmons did something that appears to be a subtle shot at the 2018 NBA MVP.

He liked a tweet where Skip Bayless ripped Harden for his performance.

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Uncertain future for both of them

Simmons hasn’t played basketball in more than a year. He couldn’t suit up for the Nets this season, and there are doubts whether he has a future there or not. Simmons was supposed to be suffering from a back injury which kept him from the playoffs. We can only hope he is healthy and ready to go next season.

Feb 27, 2022; New York, New York, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden (1) and center Joel Embiid (21) greet each other after the New York Knicks call a timeout in the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Harden has a different problem to solve. He will certainly demand a max extension from the 76ers and it remains to be seen whether they will offer him that. Because his on-court production has significantly reduced. The risk is here that Harden may walk for free and after giving up all those assets, 76ers won’t want that. Harden and Simmons face an uncertain offseason and it might just be the beginning.


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Nirjhar Sharma

72 articles

Nirjhar Sharma is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a sports enthusiast who follows all major sports and has been watching the NBA for the past 7 years now. A firm believer in the 'Greek Freak' being the best player in the league right now, he believes that the Bucks are primed for another championship run unless the injury bug bites them.