Report: 76ers want to include Tobias Harris in Ben Simmons trade; James Harden still a target

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The Philadelphia 76ers are looking to include Tobias Harris in a Ben Simmons trade, according to ESPN's Marc Spears and Brian Windhorst, who discussed the situation on Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective podcast.

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"That is the word out there because they can't necessarily get an All-Star they want in return right now. As the Sixers have continued their talks, they have talked to teams about trading Tobias and Ben," Windhorst said. "And that's 72 million dollars, which means you'd need 56 million or so to trade out to make it happen. You'd have to trade a minimum of 56 million [dollars] to trade for those two guys."

Simmons, 25, has not played a game for the Sixers this season, as he continues to seek a trade. Simmons is a three-time NBA All-Star and two-time All-NBA first team defender. He signed a five-year contract worth $170 million in 2019. He has already made approximate $90 million and he is due around another $114 million over the next three seasons, according to spotrac.com.

Harris, 29, signed a five-year, $180 million contract in 2019-20 and makes over $35 million per season throughout 2023-24, before becoming a free-agent.

If the Sixers were to trade Simmons and Harris, they would free up over $70 million in cap space, per season.

Windhorst speculates that Daryl Morey could be looking to unload both players to go after his former star in Houston, James Harden, who could opt out of his contract after this season.

"Some executives in the NBA believe that one of the end games—I'm going to say it again," Windhorst said. "Not necessarily what is going to happen or what their preference is. Some executives believe that one of the end games for Ben Simmons is that he is traded for James Harden in a sign and trade next summer."

Harden, who turns 33 in August, is struggling a bit this season scoring just 22.4 points per game, his lowest amount since 2011-12. Harden is shooting just 41.7 FG%, his worst clip since his rookie season—and 33.1 3P%, the worst mark of his career.

Harris has also struggled a bit this season, scoring 18.6 points and 7.7 rebounds, while his three-point shooting has declined to just 29.9-percent.

NBA reporter Marc Stein, who reported the Atlanta Hawks are potential suitors for Simmons last week, states the 76ers' main priority remains to try and get Simmons back on the floor for the team this season.

"The gist I'm getting is Atlanta was interested [in Simmons], until the Sixers brought Tobias' name up," Spears said.

On Monday, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported a Hawks package for Simmons would likely include John Collins and Cam Reddish.

Charania reports the 76ers are not fining Ben Simmons, as he obeys team requests, as the organization is still hoping to get him back on the floor this season.

The NBA Trade Deadline is February 10th.