NBA Trade Rumors: 76ers hard at work on Simmons/Harden swap

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Dan Halverson

January 20th, 2022

The 2022 NBA Trade Deadline is just three weeks away on Feb. 10.

After a summer of speculation about some of the league’s top players, the chatter leading up to the deadline seems as quiet as we’ve seen in recent years. Part of this could be that the instability caused by COVID-19, which has prevented some teams from truly knowing what their squad is capable of. Whatever the reason, there are still a few high-profile names to keep an eye on as we head toward next month. Let's begin with a lightning fast guard in Sacramento...

Kings aren't ready to part with De’Aaron Fox

After several weeks of speculation, the Sacramento Kings have announced that they will not be shopping young point guard De’Aaron Fox. The Kings are a lackluster 18-28, but they are also just one spot outside of 10th place in the Western Conference standings and apparently like their young core enough to stick with it.

Fox and teammate Tyrese Haliburton were both seen as trade pieces in a potential deal for Ben Simmons, but those rumors appear to have cooled. With this announcement, the Kings will have to put together a different set of players and throw in some draft picks to pull off a major move. Buddy Hield and Harrison Barnes are the leading candidates to now find themselves on the trading block.

Is James Harden Philly bound?

One of the more interesting rumors I’ve heard in the last year comes out of Philadelphia yet again, where the 76ers are scrambling to find a way to rid themselves of Simmons and get James Harden in return. The deal would reunite the former Houston Rockets star with Sixers GM Daryl Morey.

The 76ers are feeling the pressure to do something to give their All-Star center, Joel Embiid, a fighting chance at winning a championship. This would be the blockbuster of the year if Morey can pull it off.

P.J. Washington is the perfect target for the Pacers

The Indiana Pacers, and especially big man Myles Turner, have been in the middle of plenty of trade rumors over the last month, and there is a compelling case to be made for them to poach somebody as they look to build a stronger roster for the years ahead.

One possibility is P.J. Washington. The Hornets forward is shooting 40% from deep, but is struggling for significant playing times due to the development of rising star Miles Bridges. Washington is just 23 years old and is a strong multi-dimensional player.

If the Pacers lose either Turner or fellow big man Domantas Sabonis via a trade, this would be a smart target for a franchise that appears out of the playoff race already.

Get used to hearing Jerami Grant's name

Aside from the obvious high-profile targets that teams would love to haul in such as Simmons, Harden, and Bradley Beal, the most realistic impact player available is Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant.

Grant, at 27, is really in the prime of his career, and is averaging 20.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game. He has good size and athleticism, and has played winning basketball while with the Olympic team and the Denver Nuggets.

The Pistons are going nowhere and need to build around first overall draft pick, Cade Cunningham. It makes a ton of sense for teams like the Los Angeles Lakers to covet Grant, but there will be a long line of other teams looking to make the right deal to bring in him as well. Look for a number of different proposals to get floated in the coming weeks as teams attempt to craft the right package.