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NBA fans erupt over Nets trading James Harden for Ben Simmons

Net vs 76ers NBA betting

For a move that felt somewhat inevitable, when fans got Woj’s notification saying James Harden was traded for Ben Simmons, it was still surprising. Both players have been itching to leave their situations. Simmons hasn’t played all year and reports of Harden’s malcontent have been leaking out over the past month. And thus, the biggest NBA trade since *checks notes*, last year when Harden was traded to the Nets.

The immediate reaction is to applaud Sixers General Manager Daryl Morey for finally getting his guy. He tried to trade for Harden last year and failed. Now, he was able to turn someone who wasn’t going to play another minute in a Philly uniform, some small but valuable bench pieces and two first round picks into a bonafide stud. It remains to be seen how James Harden and elite big man Joel Embiid will coexist but it’s probably going to be a drastic improvement over Embiid and the ghost of Ben Simmons.

The Sixers’ future odds to win the NBA title sit at around +650 with the top sportsbooks and while that may seem like good value for a team that was succeeding without Simmons, we aren’t convinced that Harden will push them over the edge. A 32-22 team adding an elite scorer for someone who was holding out definitely makes them interesting, but the Bucks and yes, the Nets, still have better chances to come out of the Eastern Conference.

Harden could easily not mesh with Embiid and the Sixers brass. It wouldn’t be the first time Harden has alienated himself from a team and it wouldn’t be the first time the 76ers have alienated a star from their basketball team. That being said, this is a good thing for Philadelphia. It was a move that had to be done and there is plenty of room for optimism in the City of Brotherly Love.

The Nets should also be thrilled with this trade. Harden didn’t want to play there anymore and shipping him off for Australian star Ben Simmons will provide them with some much needed defensive prowess. When healthy, Simmons, Irving and Durant could be the best trio in the league on both sides of the court. Health is an issue, however, as Durant, Irving and Harden only played 16 games where they all were healthy at the same time.

Despite their struggles as of late, the Brooklyn Nets still are favorites to win the NBA title at +420 with Bovada. We would hope that number would be a little higher and it is quite grand to bet the team currently in the eight seed to win the title, but this trade makes them better. Simmons fills in the gaps defensively and if Durant is on, he may be the best player in the league. We do not hate taking the Nets at this number but there should be some trepidation that comes with it.

Beyond Simmons, the Nets were able to add some much needed bench pieces into their rotation in Seth Curry and Andre Drummond. They will help round out the team and give some rest to their stars. Also, the Nets were able to get two first round picks that will most likely be part of a package for another trade. So, be warned, the Nets are re-tooled and have the pieces to make a deep run. Where have we heard this before? Regardless, in what should be an exciting close to the season, these teams should be right in the thick of it, with their new stars front and center hoping to prove the doubters wrong.

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