As the Rockets realized they couldn’t move forward with Harden on the team, they looked to accommodate his requests of sending him to the Sixers or the Brooklyn Nets.
For a while, it seemed the 76ers were actually going to part ways with Ben Simmons so they could surround their MVP candidate Joel Embiid with a superstar shooter, but Houston ultimately chose a multi-team trade, where they sent Harden to Brooklyn. For weeks, Simmons saw his name linked to trade rumors involving Harden. “I’m with my teammates every day I wake up; every time I got a Sixers uniform on, I’m representing the Sixers. My mentality never changes. I’m here to win a championship. That goal is never going to change. I know things are always gonna be said in the media with rumors and things like that, but my goal is to come in every day, get better, and help the team that I’m on win championship.”
While the rumors were spreading like wildfire, Simmons was off to a shaky start to the year.
In the following 15 games since the trade between Houston and Brooklyn was finalized, Simmons has accounted for 18 points-per-game and remains one of the best defenders in the entire league.