One of the hottest names leading up to the 2022 NBA trade deadline was James Harden. No longer. The Brooklyn Nets finally made the move to acquire 76ers' disgruntled star Ben Simmons just before the Feb. 10 deadline after what seemed like weeks of discussions between both sides.
The deal is finally done, but there has been no shortage of rumors and reports leading up to this Harden trade, but it can be tough to keep track of them all. Worry not, we're here to help. Below is a chronological list of all the most pertinent Harden-related news that has led to this blockbuster deal.
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The Brooklyn Nets are trading James Harden and Paul Millsap to the Philadelphia 76ers for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two first-round picks, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Philadelphia's interest in Harden extends back to last season, when his former general manager, Daryl Morey, attempted to acquire him from their former employer, the Houston Rockets. He failed then, but finally managed to land his man the second time around.
James Harden doesn't want to ask the Brooklyn Nets for a trade, but he hopes that they will send him to the Philadelphia 76ers before Thursday's 3 p.m. ET trade deadline, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Harden arrived in Brooklyn in a January 2021 blockbuster because of a trade request, after spending nine years with the Houston Rockets. He has played just 80 regular-season games with the Nets -- and just 10 alongside both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving -- and reportedly fears the public backlash that would come with asking out again.
The Nets and 76ers are "in the deal zone," according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst on Wednesday -- one day before the NBA's Feb. 10 trade deadline. The exact parameters are unknown for a Ben Simmons-for-James Harden swap, but according to Windhorst, the two sides are trending toward a deal and the 76ers are exploring ancillary moves, including role players like Tobias Harris in order to get the roster ready for Harden's addition. The Nets still reportedly want 2-3 more pieces in addition to Simmons, according to Windhorst, and the 76ers would still prefer not to give those away, but for now, it seems as though the two teams have finally seen the light and are working towards an agreement.
Feb. 7 -- If the Nets plan to trade Harden before the deadline, Steve Nash certainly doesn't know about it -- or he has a really good poker face. While speaking to media members in Denver on Sunday night, Nash insisted that the Nets don't plan to trade Harden.
"I've talked to James; he wants to be here," Nash said of the situation. "He wants to be here long-term as well, so I don't think anything's changed other than noise from the outside. James wants to be here, we're building with James and we think we have the best chance to win with James. I don't think anything's changed on the inside, in our locker room, in our communication, it's just all the noise from the [outside]."
The final decision won't be up to Nash obviously, but he certainly doesn't sound like a coach that expects to lose one of his key contributors.
Feb. 7 -- The Sixers are obviously interested in Harden, but they won't be doing everything within their power to land him. The Sixers won't include standout second-year guard Tyrese Maxey in any potential deal for Harden, a league source told CBS Sports. The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor reiterated that stance and added that it was far likelier that Philadelphia sends Brooklyn an older player like veteran swingman Danny Green in a Harden deal.
Feb. 4 -- Conflicting reports emerge leading up to the deadline every single season, so it wasn't super surprising that a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic surfaced that said that the Nets and 76ers would discuss a potential Harden-for-Simmons swap just days after it was reported that the Nets wouldn't listen to any offers for Harden. The report from Charania suggests that the Nets would want other assets from Philadelphia in order to get a deal done.
Jan. 27 -- Despite the uncertainty regarding Harden's future in Brooklyn, the Nets don't plan to listen to any outside offers for Harden leading up to the deadline, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. There was some speculation that the Nets could look to trade Harden, as opposed to losing him and getting nothing in return should he sign elsewhere in free agency over the offseason, but that appears as though it won't be the case.
Jan. 25 -- The questions surrounding Harden's long-term future in Brooklyn can be traced be to last offseason when he failed to agree to an extension with an organization, but the noise really started to get loud in January thanks to a report from Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer that suggested the former league MVP is at least interested in exploring other options outside of the Nets when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. Harden has never been a free agent before, so it's understandable that he's interested in experiencing the process.