By: Kylan Watson
After a season-and -a-half of drama the Philadelphia 76ers finally traded Ben Simmons to Brooklyn for James Harden (deal also included Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, and two first round picks going to Brooklyn for Harden and Paul Millsap). Philly finally got the superstar they have been searching for. It took them awhile, but in Harden they may have found the perfect superstar to pair next to Joel Embiid and change Philly’s basketball fortunes.
Today was a culmination of years of front office regime after regime saying we want a superstar to [air next to Embiid. The fans and front office leadership thought they had a permanent fixture in Jimmy Butler. However, he would leave the franchise for South Beach. Leaving the Sixers searching for the perfect superstar to combine with Embiid and lead them to the promise land for the first time in 30 years.
After multiple roster changes, as of this afternoon the superstar they wanted finally came to them in Harden. The price maybe a lot more expensive than most fans and media personalities would have done. The payoff a team that will be contending for years to come.
James Harden is a walking bucket and the playmaker that Philly has sorely been missing. He is not afraid to shoot which has been a problem for years at the guard spot. He can also find the open man and has become a serviceable defender. Most importantly he is a great decision maker that takes ball pressure and playmaking responsibilities off Embiid. He will also make life easier for Tobias Harris, Tyrese Maxey, and the other role players. In Harden Philly may have found the perfect fit for this team.
If Harden plays close to what he did earlier this year than the Sixers have a 20-plus-point scorer and 10-assist playmaker and space creator that they needed. Harden makes life easier for everybody on the offensive end and he is a great decision maker. With him on the floor it leaves most teams with no choice but to not double team Embiid because they do not want to give-up a wide-open three. That allows Embiid and Harris to have more space to operate. If the Sixers get a motivated Harden, they are the team to beat in the Eastern conference.
Philly’s odds got a lot better for that parade down Broad Street. They will need to get a back-up big man and another guard off the bench behind Embiid and Harden. They will have plenty of options on the buyout market to fill out the rest of the needs on this team. If Harden plays to his potential Philadelphia may become Beardadelphia.