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James Harden to the Sixers is the best deal for the Rockets

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 27: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets dribbles the ball against Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers in the third quarter at the Wells Fargo Center on January 27, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Rockets defeated the 76ers 123-118. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 27: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets dribbles the ball against Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers in the third quarter at the Wells Fargo Center on January 27, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Rockets defeated the 76ers 123-118. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
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Houston Rockets
Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers James Harden of the Houston Rockets

James Harden has informed the Houston Rockets that he is receptive to a trade to the Philadelphia 76ers. Any trade would see either Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid head to Houston, but who should they ask for in return?

Early in the offseason, James Harden informed the Houston Rockets of his desire to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets. However, very little movement has been achieved to get Harden to his preferred landing spot, and in response, he has expanded his trade horizons to include the Philadelphia 76ers.

Harden’s desire to go to Philadelphia makes sense on a lot of levels. The 76ers are a contender, their new general manager, Daryl Morey, is Harden’s old general manager, and their head coach Doc Rivers is one of the most respected coaches in the league. If Harden walks through their doors they’re a ready-made challenger to reach the finals.

While it makes sense for Harden to include Philadelphia on his wish list, it remains to be seen if the 76ers want him enough to make a deal, because unlike the Nets, they have two big assets that could persuade Houston to move him. The 76ers two young superstars, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are the young franchise cornerstones that all teams demand when trading their franchise icon.

If the Rockets are going to trade James Harden to the 76ers one of these two players needs to come back in return. While the consensus in the media and around the league is that Philadelphia would send Simmons out over Embiid, the Rockets, if the Sixers are truly interested, will have their pick of the two.

When Daryl Morey is on the phone with his former protege, Raphael Stone, the first question will be, “Which one do you want?” The question Stone needs to answer is, between Simmons and Embiid, who makes the Rockets better?

Next: Ben Simmons

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