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Sixers refuse to include Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons in package for Rockets’ James Harden

James Harden, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Sixers, Rockets

The James Harden-Houston Rockets trade saga continues with the Beard listing the Philadelphia 76ers as one of his preferred destinations. However, it won’t be as easy as it looks since the Sixers do not want to include Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons in a trade package.

Per Shams Charania of The Athletic, head coach Doc Rivers is a strong proponent of keeping Simmons and Embiid in Philly. However, this does not mean the end of a possible transaction between the Sixers and the Rockets. Houston should keep a close eye on the Sixers’ performance early in the season.

If the Simmons-Embiid duo fails under Rivers, then it’s the Rockets’ chance to pull the trade trigger.

The 76ers want to view their two young All-Stars, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, under new head coach Doc Rivers — who has raved about both players and has privately made clear he wants the opportunity to have elevated success with both Simmons and Embiid… In theory, however, Houston could wait out the potential availability of Simmons should Philadelphia get off to a slow start.

Other teams that Harden listed down as his preferred destinations are the Milwaukee Bucks, the Miami Heat, and the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets was the first team to be included in the trade rumors, with Harden reportedly wanting to form a Big 3 with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. However, the Rockets would only agree if one of the two Nets All-Stars were included in the deal.

With the regular season just around the corner, the pressure is continuing to mount for the Rockets. They must find a trade partner soon or convince Harden that he can still win in Houston.

The Rockets exist in an in-between place right now, given that they no longer have Daryl Morey as their general manager or Mike D’Antoni as their coach. Harden’s status isn’t their only concern; it’s how the franchise wants to reconfigure itself under new coach Stephen Silas and new management.

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