“Still amazed the Sixers got James Harden without losing Tyrese Maxey or Matisse Thybulle”: Sports Illustrated columnist suggests Brooklyn Nets aren’t really the winner of Harden-Simmons trade

Trading James Harden without getting Maxey or Thybulle was the hard pill the Brooklyn Nets had to swallow to get rid of an uneasy situation.

The Ben Simmons and James Harden trade could well turn out to be the trade of the decade. No doubt it’s too early to call it and NBA teams and stars these days are too fragile for it to remain the best trade even for a few months but believe me, this is it.

One of the most significant in-season trades in NBA history took place at the trade deadline day in the second week of February that brought Harden and Paul Millsap to the Sixers and sent Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, and two first-round draft picks to the Brooklyn Nets.

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Many people consider the Nets to be the winners of that trade. They got a 6’11 point guard that can defend 1 through 5 on the court, has great court vision along with one of the best 3-point shooters in the league to cover the former’s lack of shooting abilities.

To top that off, an efficient center who is averaging around 10 rebounds for the season playing less than 20 minutes. And a couple of future draft picks as well. Winners right? Maybe not.

Getting James Harden without giving up Thybulle or Maxey makes Sixers the winner of that trade

Before that trade actualized, every insider report had either Matisse Thybulle or Tyrese Maxey along with Ben Simmons for any trade involving James Harden. But getting the Beard without having to give off any of those two makes Sixers the clear winner as of now.

Think of what any of those two would have made the Nets look like. Tyrese Maxey’s scoring abilities have been nothing short of sensational for the Sixers over the past couple of months. It’s one of the reasons why they are suddenly just 2-win short of being the Best in the East.

Whereas, we know how suffocating Matisse Thybulle is, on the defensive side of the court. He has led the Sixers from the front on that end throughout the season.

And then his unreal stealing abilities.

Now imagine Brooklyn’s offense with Maxey or their much-talked-about defense with Simmons and Thybulle to take of the business at that end. Surely, Brooklyn lost much more than what Philly won from this trade.

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