76ers Wait on Harden's Debut Following Big Trade for Simmons

By DAN GELSTON, AP Sports activities Author

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — The outsized Ben Simmons journal cowl that hung contained in the 76ers’ coaching advanced was gone.

The previous MVP acquired for the one-time franchise guard? Nicely, James Harden wasn’t on the town, both, and his debut for Philadelphia is on maintain at the least till subsequent week.

However yet one more new period is quickly set to start for the Sixers as they chase their first NBA title since 1983, this time with the famous person pairing of Harden and MVP candidate Joel Embiid.

The clock is ticking for Harden to win a championship.

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Harden, although, won’t play for the Sixers in video games Friday and Saturday evening, and he will not play till he is evaluated this weekend by the staff’s efficiency employees.

The earliest Harden might play for Philly is at dwelling Tuesday in opposition to Boston. The Sixers additionally play Thursday at NBA champion Milwaukee earlier than the All-Star break.

Harden, the 2018 MVP, was acquired Thursday from Brooklyn in a multi-player deal that noticed the Sixers ship one-time franchise cornerstone Simmons to the Nets.

Harden would have missed his his fourth straight recreation Thursday with a hamstring damage. He has averaged 25.0 factors, 5.6 rebounds and 6.7 assists in his profession with Brooklyn, Houston and Oklahoma Metropolis.

The Sixers head into Friday’s recreation in opposition to Oklahoma Metropolis at 32-22 and three video games out of the highest spot within the Japanese Convention.

Coach Doc Rivers will shortly work to catch Harden on top of things.

“He actually simply mentioned the practices and the shootarounds now are going to be extra intense simply because we have a restricted period of time to determine it out,” guard Tyrese Maxey mentioned Friday. “I can not wait. It is an ideal group of men and I can not wait to get began.”

Harden and Simmons had been each sad with their roles with their previous groups — Simmons demanded an offseason commerce because the stress of taking part in in Philly obtained to him; Harden has now pressured his method onto a brand new staff for the second straight 12 months.

TNT broadcaster and Corridor of Famer Charles Barkley roasted Harden as he egged on Nets star Kevin Durant to draft his former teammate to the All-Star staff.

“He obtained traded, he’s wholesome now!” Barkley cracked.

Harden might have left this summer time as a free agent and the Nets determined it wasn’t well worth the threat to attend, ending their Huge Three experiment of Harden, Durant and Kyrie Irving after the trio performed solely 16 video games collectively.

Simmons had few followers left in Philly after he determined to take a seat out the season. Philadelphia’s native ABC information opened Thursday evening’s broadcast with the highest story, “The person who refused to make a layup, after which refused to play a season, is now a Brooklyn Web.”

The Simmons saga is behind the Sixers, who can transfer on from the day by day cleaning soap opera that hung over the franchise.

“We sort of realized at the start of the 12 months what the deal was,” Maxey mentioned.

The Nets additionally acquired guard Seth Curry, heart Andre Drummond and 2022 and 2027 draft picks. The Sixers additionally will get Paul Millsap.

Maxey, the second-year participant who took over for Simmons at level guard, was shut with Simmons however had but to talk to his former teammate. He is able to get going with Harden.

“It is sort of loopy, simply because he is one of many guys you play as in 2K whenever you’re a youthful child,” the 21-year-old Maxey mentioned. “One among my finest pals that I had all through highschool, he is like the most important James Harden fan after we had been rising up. So I texted him final evening, we talked about it a bit bit, and he is like, it is loopy.”

Embiid leads the league in scoring at 29.4 factors and has scored at the least 25 factors in 30 straight video games. The stress was on in Philly to not waste a season of his prime.

Crew President Daryl Morey made the cope with a championship this season in thoughts, and now it is as much as Rivers to make it work after he didn’t get the top-seeded Sixers out of the second spherical final 12 months.

Extra AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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