Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash has confirmed Ben Simmons will be with the team on the bench for Thursday's return game against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Simmons is expected to receive a frosty reception from the 76ers fans at the Wells Fargo Center as he returns for the first time since last month's trade to the Nets.

The point guard had a major fallout with the 76ers after a nightmare playoffs period, leading to him requesting a trade and opting not to play all season until a trade was finalised in February.

Nash said Simmons, who is yet to debut for Brooklyn, will not play for the Nets on Thursday but will be in attendance with the team which he felt he needed to get out of the way.

"It's great," Nash told reporters prior to Tuesday's game against the Charlotte Hornets.

"He's on our team, he needs to be with his teammates and get the whole Philly thing out of the way a little bit. Maybe it never goes away, but the first time it's always nice to kind of deal with it and move on."

He added: "I don't think he's naive to think he's not going to get some boos. I hope he enjoys it. It's a part of the game I miss."

Simmons has not played since his trade due to a back complaint which has hampered his ability to get reconditioned to game standard having not played all season.

Nash was not clear-cut on Simmons' likely debut, with the Australian still not cleared to practice.

"It's to be determined," Nash said. "I think he's progressing this week, but I don't know what that means as far as Saturday.

"He'll see us [Wednesday] in Philly. I don't think he's ready for 5-on-5 basketball but he's improving, working out, and he'll join us in Philly, and a few good days of rehab."

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rovers believes Ben Simmons deserves a tribute when the Brooklyn Nets visit on Thursday.

Simmons left the 76ers acrimoniously with a trade to the Nets after more than five years with Philadelphia.

The 25-year-old point guard endured a difficult 2021 playoffs leading to a fallout with the 76ers, demanding a trade and sitting out the first half of the season before the Nets move materialised. 

Simmons and 76ers center Joel Embiid fell out too, ramping up the tensions with the latter posting a cryptic Twitter update upon Simmons' exit last month.

“I do actually,” Rivers said when asked if Simmons deserved a tribute video upon his return. “Ben did a lot of good things here.

"It didn’t end well, right? Just like marriages and all kinds of other things that don’t end well but Ben did a lot of good things here.

"It’s funny, I don’t know if we are or not, but if we did, I’d have no issues with it.”

Simmons won the 2018 Rookie of the Year, had been a three-time All-Star and two-time NBA All-Defensive First Team member with the 76ers reaching the playoffs in all four of his seasons with the side.

The Australian is yet to debut for the Nets and unlikely to play on Thursday as he builds up his conditioning having not played all season at the 76ers but may attend the game with the team.

Rivers sarcastically added: "Our fans are so silent so I can't imagine anything happening."

Meanwhile, James Harden shrugged off any talk of nerves ahead of the match-up where he will face his former Nets teammates for the first time since last month's trade with Simmons.

"I'm not nervous, it's basketball," Harden told reporters after Monday's 121-106 win over the Chicago Bulls. "I've put the work in to just play my game and live with the results.

"Honestly every game is a big game for us. We're fairly new, we've got championship aspirations so every game is a learning process for us no matter who we're playing."

Ben Simmons will not make his debut for the Brooklyn Nets this week, though Kevin Durant is getting closer to a return from injury.

Simmons has yet to play for the Nets since this month's blockbuster trade that ended his stand-off with the Philadelphia 76ers, with James Harden going in the other direction.

During his introductory media conference, Simmons had said he hoped to be ready to make his season debut against the Sixers in Philadelphia or March 10.

That prospect appears less and less likely after Nets head coach Steve Nash revealed Simmons, who has struggled with a back issue since the Nets upped his workload in practice, is not close to being ready to play.

Speaking ahead of the Nets' clash with the Toronto Raptors on Monday, Nash said: "Ben is still working through a number of things and reconditioning so he's not gonna play this week but we'll keep working on his timeline and hopefully he can progress.

There is better news on Durant as he looks to make his return from a left knee sprain. He will not play in either of the Nets' successive games with the Raptors but could feature against the Miami Heat on Thursday or the Boston Celtics on Sunday.

"Kevin's getting close, we're hopeful that he can play this week," added Nash. "He won't play tonight or tomorrow but hopeful I guess that [his return] would be Thursday or Sunday."

The Nets are 32-29, eight games back of the Eastern Conference-leading Heat having lost seven of their last 10 games.

Brooklyn Nets' All-Star Kevin Durant will return in the next week according to head coach Steve Nash.

Durant has been sidelined since January 15 when he suffered an MCL sprain, with the Nets struggling in his absence, sliding to a 31-29 record including a run of 11 straight defeats.

The Nets have been reluctant to put a timeframe on the 33-year-old's return, having been expected to be out until the All-Star break but Nash offered some clarity ahead of Saturday's road game against the Milwaukee Bucks.

"Every day closer," Nash said after shootaround. "We'll see. I expect in the next week he'll be back for sure. It could be quick; it could be the whole week barring any setbacks."

"I think with Kevin he's been a great healer throughout his career so the number one thing is to get him back healthy and feeling secure in his health and his body so he can move and be free.

"When he's back, obviously he adds a ton to our team on both ends of the floor... one of the greatest scorers of all time. And we also know he helps us defensively; he gives us more size and length. So he's a big miss for us, and whenever he gets back, he'll impact our team."

Nash was less committal on Ben Simmons, whom joined the Nets earlier this month in a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers. Simmons has not played all season due to his standoff with the 76ers and is building up his conditioning, as well as managing a "little soreness in his back".

"He's not gone to high intensity yet," Nash said. "Just ramping him up still."

On the back issue, Nash added: "It's not like an injury. It's just kind of like as he's returning to play his back's flared up a little bit. It's not a long-term thing."

Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash concedes his side must have urgency to arrest their slide after Thursday's 129-106 loss to the Boston Celtics left them with a 31-29 record.

The Nets were billed as title contenders earlier this season but have endured a tough midseason period, winning only two of their past 15 games with Kevin Durant out injured, Kyrie Irving unavailable for home games and James Harden traded out.

Harden swapped places with Ben Simmons from the Philadelphia 76ers, with the new acquisition still yet to debut as he re-conditions having not played this season.

Nash admitted having a healthy roster would go a long way to fixing his side's issues but conceded they needed urgency as their season slips away.

"We understand the situation we're in. We know there's urgency," Nash said at the post-game news conference.

"We're not going to have half a season to figure this thing out. We're up against the clock.

"Our guys have been great. There's a lot of pressure and circumstances that make it difficult as you're dropping in the standings but their spirit has been outstanding.

"That's the spirit of taking it day-by-day game-by-game trying to improve. At the same time, we recognise the situation we're in."

Jayson Tatum starred for the in-form Celtics with 30 points and seven rebounds, while the Nets' best were Seth Curry (22 points and seven rebounds), Bruce Brown Jr (15 points, seven rebounds and five assists) and Kessler Edwards (13 points and five rebounds) off the bench.

Nash was pressed on ways to fix their struggles without their key players, with no timeframes on Durant and Simmons' availability but he reverted to a healthy roster.

"That's number one, two, three and four really," Nash said. "We could've played better tonight, but we can play better on nights when we have everybody too.

"In this league, you flip it, take four of the Celtics starters out, it's a different look."

Seth Curry does not want an apology from Ben Simmons as the pair start a new chapter with the Brooklyn Nets.

Curry and Simmons were team-mates on the Philadelphia 76ers, although the former first overall pick had not played this season.

Simmons has now cited a difficult period with his mental health as his reason for staying away from the 76ers until a trade was agreed with the Nets.

The Australian was the subject of intense criticism following the team's playoff defeat to the Atlanta Hawks last season, in which he was deemed to have shirked responsibility and passed up shooting opportunities.

With James Harden leaving the Nets for the 76ers, Curry and Andre Drummond joined Simmons in the deal going the other way.

It means Simmons must now play with team-mates he abandoned earlier in the season, but Curry does not see that as a problem.

"Business is business," Curry told ESPN on Thursday ahead of the NBA's resumption after the All-Star break.

"I said from day [one], even when he was out early in the season, people were asking me if I feel like, if Ben comes back, should he apologise to us or whatever?

"I understand the business; he doesn't need to apologise to anybody. When he's on the court, I know he's going to do his job and he's going to do what he does. So I understand the business.

"He was doing what he felt was best for himself business-wise and personal-wise. And the team's going to do the same thing as far as making trades or whatever, so I understand it, I've been around it; I don't take anything personal.

"When we're on the court, we're team-mates. Everything's fine, and we depend on each other to do good things. There's been nothing negative he's done to me personally, so I'm fine."

Ben Simmons revealed he had been dealing with "dark times" due to his mental health as he was presented as a Brooklyn Net on Tuesday, although he added his issues while with the Philadelphia 76ers were "a personal thing".

Following a long-running trade saga, Simmons joined the Nets ahead of last week's deadline, with James Harden heading in the opposite direction.

Simmons had been mooted as a piece in a potential Harden trade as long ago as January 2021 – with Harden then forcing his way out of the Houston Rockets – and his future became more uncertain still following the 76ers' playoff defeat to the Atlanta Hawks last season.

The former number one overall pick averaged 6.3 points from 4.7 field goal attempts across the final three games of a seven-game series.

He was the subject of intense criticism after appearing to pass up shooting opportunities, with team-mates and coaches among those to question his performance level.

With Simmons subsequently keen to leave the 76ers, he has not played at all this season.

But the Australian explained as he met the media that the fallout from the Hawks series had not been a prominent factor in a difficult year to date.

"For me, it was just making sure mentally I was right to get out there and play again," Simmons said. "So that's something I've been dealing with.

"And it wasn't about the fans or coaches, or comments made by anybody. It was just a personal thing for me. That was earlier than that series or even that season that I was dealing with, and [the 76ers] knew that.

"So, it is something that I continue to deal with and I'm getting there and getting to the right place to get back on the floor."

He added his mental health issues had "nothing to do with the trade" but rather "a bunch of things that I was dealing with as a person, in my personal life, that I don't really want to go into depth with".

However, getting out of Philly was important for Simmons as he aims to recover.

"A bunch of things that had been going on over the years to where I knew I wasn't myself," he said, explaining his pursuit of a trade. "And I needed to get back to being myself and being happy as a person and taking care of my well-being.

"That was the major thing for me. It wasn't about the basketball, it wasn't about the money, anything like that. I want to be who I am and get back to playing basketball and that level and being myself."

Of his critics, Simmons said: "They should be happy I'm smiling, honestly. I've had some dark times over these last six months and I'm just happy to be in this situation with this team and organisation."

The move also gives Simmons the opportunity to team up with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, with the Nets maintaining title hopes despite their slump to eighth in the East.

"I think it's going to be scary," the new signing said. "Having those guys running alongside me, multiple different weapons on the floor, and I think at the pace we want to play at, it's going to be unreal."

Simmons does not yet know when he will be available for the Nets, but he hopes to play against the 76ers on March 10.

Seth Curry's 23-point arrival helped the Brooklyn Nets snap their 11-game skid in a 109-85 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Monday.

Curry landed four three-pointers with seven rebounds and five assists while fellow debutant Andre Drummond added 11 points, with Ben Simmons still out despite being present for the pre-game shootaround.

The Nets led from start to finish but were propelled by a 54-37 second half with LaMarcus Aldridge scoring 19 points with eight rebounds off the bench.

Bruce Brown had season-high returns with 19 points, six assists and five steals for the new-look Nets who improved to 30-27.

De'Andre Fox had a game-high 26 points for the Kings who were limited to 34.4 per cent shooting (31-of-90) overall.

 

Steph stars but Warriors lose

Stephen Curry made eight three-pointers in a 33-point haul but it was not enough to get the Golden State Warriors past the Los Angeles Clippers who won 119-104. Terance Mann scored 25 points with seven rebounds and six assists for the triumphant Clippers.

Julius Randle had a triple-double with 30 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists but he was overshadowed by Rookie of the Year contender Josh Giddey as the Oklahoma City Thunder won 127-123 in overtime. Giddey also had a triple-double with 28 points including three triples along with 11 rebounds and 12 assists.

Reigning MVP Nikola Jokic starred with 26 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists as the Denver Nuggets brushed aside the Orlando Magic 121-111, while Donovan Mitchell had 30 points with six rebounds and seven assists in the Utah Jazz's 135-101 victory over the Houston Rockets.

 

Middleton loses radar as Bucks go down

Khris Middleton almost had a triple-double but shot poorly, going three-of-15 from the field and one-of-eight from beyond the arc as the Milwaukee Bucks went down 122-107 to the Portland Trail Blazers. Anfernee Simons scored 31 points for the Blazers, while Middleton had 16 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists as the Bucks lost in Giannis Antetokounmpo's absence due to a sore ankle.

Seth Curry is excited about the weapons at the disposal of the Brooklyn Nets when they get their stars back on court after helping snap their 11-game skid in 109-85 win over the Sacramento Kings on Monday.

Curry top scored for the new-look Nets with 23 points including three three-pointers, while fellow new addition Andre Drummond added 11 points.

Brooklyn were without Kevin Durant (MCL sprain), Kyrie Irving (unable to play in New York due to vaccine mandate) and new acquisition Ben Simmons (conditioning).

"I didn't have to see what we did tonight to know the kind of style we'll play," Curry told reporters after the game.

"We'll have so many weapons out there - offensively and defensively. It's going to be a lot of fun to play.

"It's been a while since I got up and down the floor like that and played with that kind of pace, even in the halfcourt."

The win ends Brooklyn's slump that saw them go from a record of 29-16 to 30-27, but there is renewed hope with a fresh line-up after last week's trade moves that saw Curry, Drummond and Simmons join from the Philadelphia 76ers.

Drummond added: "We have a great group of guys. Guys that are missing right now, we got to wait for them to get healthy, but once everybody gets back I think we'll be very, very good and make a very good push in the playoffs."

Nets head coach Steve Nash had said pre-game that there was no official timeline on Simmons' return to play as he builds reconditioning having not played all season.

“I think he’s in a pretty good state mentally,” Nash said. “If we work with him in conjunction to his physical ramp-up to make sure he’s comfortable on and off the floor, I think he’ll be ready to play mentally when he’s physically ready.”

Reigning NBA Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and new Brooklyn Nets acquisition Ben Simmons will both not play on Monday.

Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer confirmed that Antetokounmpo will miss Monday's game against the Portland Trail Blazers with a sore ankle.

The Greek forward had been listed as probable before being downgraded to doubtful, ahead of back-to-back games with a Tuesday date with the Indiana Pacers too.

"He's not ready to go tonight," Budenholzer told reporters pre-game. "It's not anything more than that. We'll see how he feels tomorrow. I think it's very short term."

Simmons, who joined the Nets from the Philadelphia 76ers in a blockbuster trade late last week, attended shootaround prior to their game with the Sacramento Kings.

However, the three-time All-Star was ruled out as he "returns to competition reconditioning".

MVP contender Joel Embiid is glad to put the Ben Simmons trade saga behind him and the Philadelphia 76ers admitting the situation was "pretty annoying".

Simmons landed a blockbuster NBA deadline trade to the Brooklyn Nets, with 2018 MVP James Harden heading in the opposite direction, with Paul Millsap, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and a pair of first-round picks also swapping hands.

Three-time All Star Simmons had not played all season after an off-season fallout with the 76ers following a disastrous playoffs campaign, before seeking a trade away which took months to reach a resolution, with Embiid regularly pressed on the situation.

"Yeah, I'm happy that I'm not going to be answering any more questions about that subject," Embiid told reporters.

"It's good that, not just for me, but my teammates, the whole organization. The whole year, it was pretty annoying with the whole situation, but I'm glad that everybody has moved on.

"I wish everybody the best in whatever they want to accomplish, but I'm focused on winning games here and trying to win a championship."

Embiid and Simmons' partnership at the 76ers had been seen as the foundation for an NBA title push but the duo never took the side to the NBA Finals, despite being Eastern Conference top seeds last season (49-23 record).

"It's unfortunate how everything happened, because you look at the history and we didn't get it done as far as winning in the playoffs, but you look at the history being on the court, what we did in the regular season, we were dominant," Embiid said.

"So it's unfortunate that winning was not the biggest factor. It's unfortunate that for him, having his own team and being the star was more of his priorities.

"But I always thought that everything was great, the fit was great. But unfortunately Ben thought that it wasn't. But we all move on."

Steve Nash could not help but contemplate the "what ifs" after James Harden's brief tenure with the Brooklyn Nets was ended in a big trade-deadline deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.

One of the most prolific shooters in NBA history, Harden was drafted to the Nets in January 2021 to form a tantalising big three alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

However, a combination of factors limited the amount of game time the trio enjoyed on court together, with Durant contending with injuries and Irving unable to play home fixtures this season as he is unvaccinated against COVID-19. Health protocols in New York mean players have to be jabbed to play in the city

Harden averaged just 22.5 points per game this season, his lowest average since the 2011-12 season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, as well as 8.0 rebounds and 10.2 assists.

Despite head coach Nash consistently saying Harden would not be moved on, he was sent to Philly in exchange for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry and Andre Drummond.

The deal reportedly also includes the Sixers sending the Nets an unprotected 2022 first-round pick as well as a protected 2027 first-round pick. The Nets also included Paul Millsap in the deal.

Speaking after the Nets were defeated 113-112 by the Washington Wizards – their 10th loss in a row – Nash could not help but wonder how things could have played out differently in last season's playoffs when they lost out in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals to the Milwaukee Bucks.

"You're up 2-0 against the NBA champs, and then to not have James in the first games and then Kyrie in the last games, James being on one leg, Jeff Green being out of the lineup, all sorts of things that hampered our opportunity to win," Nash said. 

"To take them to overtime in Game 7, you definitely think there are some what-ifs, but that's life. You can't look back. You've got to look forward."

Nash, who said it was a "pleasure" to coach a "historic" player, added on the trade: "I think in the last hours, as the hours ticked by today, it seemed more apparent. 

"But you're never surprised. When I was asked those questions [about whether he would be traded], there was no conversation between the two teams."

The Nets have slid down the Eastern Conference standings and sit eighth as a result of their barren run.

But with the new additions, and Durant (sprained MCL), LaMarcus Aldridge (sprained ankle), Joe Harris (ankle surgery) and Nic Claxton (left hamstring tightness) all to come back, Nash remains hopeful the Nets can get back on track. 

"Yeah, I think we always set our sights at that," Nash said. "We're excited by the pieces that are coming in. 

"Obviously, we're on a time crunch a little bit and getting everyone healthy, gaining some cohesion and building a team that can flow and play at both ends of the floor, but we're not taking our foot off the gas. 

"We want to try to build and reach for the stars and try to have a sense of urgency with this new addition."

Irving said he made no attempt to try and convince Harden to stay but added he wished his now former teammate well in his future endeavours.

"That's not really my place, in terms of trying to convince somebody of something that he probably can't see right now," Irving said. 

"James probably couldn't see what we were getting into. Obviously with my status being in and out, I saw a few things maybe that could have impacted things.

"But who knows, we got to wait for him - I can't really speak for James.

"I think we're also forgetting, too, where I've asked for a trade, and I understand it, so I'm not here to judge him. I'm not here to talk bad on James. 

"He has a great family, he's a great person. And I don't want to separate that fact from anything. I just really want him to be happy. I want everybody in this league to be happy."

The Philadelphia 76ers solved their Ben Simmons conundrum with a blockbuster trade for James Harden of the Brooklyn Nets before the NBA trade deadline passed on Thursday. 

Simmons has refused to play for the Sixers this season after coach Doc Rivers and center Joel Embiid were critical of his performances in the Eastern Conference semifinals loss to the Atlanta Hawks last season. 

Philadelphia had been trying to trade the fifth-year guard/forward ever since, but the former Rookie of the Year's value plummeted after he came up short against the Hawks. 

However, according to multiple reports a deal was finally struck to send Simmons to Brooklyn in exchange for the 2018 NBA MVP Harden. Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, an unprotected 2022 first-round pick and a protected 2027 first-round pick were also sent to the Nets, with Paul Millsap going in the opposite direction. 

Harden can become a free agent in the offseason, while Simmons is under contract until 2025 after signing a five-year, $177.2million deal in 2019.

While the 76ers seemingly boosted their chances of contending by adding Harden, the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors remained idle. However, there were still plenty of other deals reported on Thursday.

 

Mavericks move on from Porzingis

The Luka Doncic-Kristaps Porzingis era is over in Dallas.

The Mavs sent Porzingis and a second-round pick to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans.

Injuries have continued to trouble the 7ft 3in center, who averaged 20 points and 8.8 rebounds per game in two and a half seasons in Dallas.

Kings trade Bagley, Bucks get Ibaka 

The Sacramento Kings made Marvin Bagley III the second overall pick in the 2018 draft but brought an end to his time in California as part of a seven-player, four-team trade. 

Bagley was sent to the Detroit Pistons, with Josh Jackson and Trey Lyles going to Sacramento. The Kings also received Donte DiVincenzo from the Milwaukee Bucks, who swapped Serge Ibaka for Semi Ojeleye and Rodney Hood. The reigning NBA champions also received two future second-round picks and cash considerations. 

Bagley has started just 17 games for Sacramento this season, averaging 9.3 points and 7.2 rebounds in 21.9 minutes per game.

Celtics bring Theis back, send Schroder to Houston

Daniel Theis is back for a second spell with the Boston Celtics.

Less than a year after he was traded to the Chicago Bulls by the Celtics, Theis was brought back from the Houston Rockets in exchange for Dennis Schroder, Enes Freedom and Bruno Fernando. Freedom is expected to be waived by the Rockets, though.

Boston also sent Bol Bol and PJ Dozier, who are both out for the season, to the Orlando Magic and offloaded Josh Richardson and Romeo Langford to the San Antonio Spurs. The Celtics' brought in Derrick White.

Elsewhere...

Goran Dragic's time with the Toronto Raptors is up after he was traded to the Spurs for Thaddeus Young, Drew Eubanks – whom they were set to waive – and a 2022 lottery-protected first-round pick. Dragic is expected to be bought out, with the Chicago Bulls, Mavs, Bucks, Warriors, Nets and Clippers all credited with an interest.

The Charlotte Hornets added Montrezl Harrel from the Wizards. Ish Smith and Vernon Carey Jr went the other way. 

Torrey Craig is back with the Phoenix Suns following a deal that saw Jalen Smith land with the Indiana Pacers. Aaron Holiday was also acquired from the Wizards.

James Harden is leaving the Brooklyn Nets to join the Philadelphia 76ers, according to reports.

The teams have agreed a trade that will see Harden move to Philadelphia, while Ben Simmons, Seth Curry and Andre Drummond head the other way, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said.

The deal reportedly also includes the Sixers sending the Nets an unprotected 2022 first-round pick as well as a protected 2027 first-round pick. The Nets will also include Paul Millsap in the deal.

Simmons was the subject of trade rumours in January 2021 when the Sixers pursued Harden from the Houston Rockets. Harden instead headed for the Nets, and Simmons saw out the season in Philadelphia, only for speculation to ramp up again after a deeply dissatisfying playoff exit.

Simmons has not played since June when Joel Embiid and Doc Rivers appeared to blame the former first overall pick for a Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

The 25-year-old Simmons averaged 14.3 points per game last season from his 58 appearances, plus 7.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists.

Harden, 32, has failed to settle in Brooklyn since arriving from Houston last January, averaging just 22.5 points per game this season, his lowest average since the 2011-12 season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, as well as 8.0 rebounds and 10.2 assists.

Curry has been enjoying the best season of his career in Philadelphia, averaging 15.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game, while Drummond has managed just 6.1 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game, the worst return of his career.

James Harden is leaving the Brooklyn Nets to join the Philadelphia 76ers, according to reports.

The teams have agreed a trade that will see Harden move to Philadelphia, while Ben Simmons, Seth Curry and Andre Drummond head the other way, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said.

The deal reportedly also includes the Sixers sending the Nets an unprotected 2022 first-round pick as well as a protected 2027 first-round pick. The Nets will also include Paul Millsap in the deal.

Simmons was the subject of trade rumours in January 2021 when the Sixers pursued Harden from the Houston Rockets. Harden instead headed for the Nets, and Simmons saw out the season in Philadelphia, only for speculation to ramp up again after a deeply dissatisfying playoff exit.

Simmons has not played since June when Joel Embiid and Doc Rivers appeared to blame the former first overall pick for a Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

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