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The Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers are "in the deal zone" on a possible swap of Ben Simmons for James Harden, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst Wednesday. That is a significant shift from the last few days, where the general consensus was that while Brooklyn was open to making a deal, it was likelier than not that the two sides would fail to finish a deal. With a deal of this magnitude, nothing is certain until an agreement is reached, but there appears to be more momentum now than there ever has been.

The 76ers, according to Windhorst, are also having further discussions with other teams to make ancillary moves in order to "support a James Harden arrival." One such possibility, per Windhorst, is a deal sending Tobias Harris elsewhere. Harris has two years remaining on his max contract after this one, so such a deal would likely be financially motivated with a hefty Harden extension likely following a trade. 

Not all of the reporting is as confident, though. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said Wednesday that "right now, there's no negotiation going on between Philadelphia and Brooklyn." While the deadline isn't until tomorrow, Wojnarowski does not believe that a deal is likely at this time. Windhorst, however, has reported that the two sides are focusing more on secondary pieces to be included in a deal.

The Nets would still like "two or three other pieces" in addition to Simmons, according to Windhorst. While Philadelphia may not want to give up quite that much, it's worth noting that they are motivated to include something else in addition to Simmons because Simmons does not technically make enough money to be traded for Harden on his own. The 76ers would need to include at least $2.5 million in other salaries to make the trade legal, and with Philly already more than $6 million above the luxury tax line, the more money it can send out, the better.

Determining what secondary pieces the Nets can get is going to be a fairly difficult process because these teams are not only trying to win a championship themselves, but weaken the other in the process. It is very likely that either of them would need to beat the other in the postseason in order to reach the NBA Finals, and at a bare minimum, they are both in the Atlantic Division. Brooklyn is reportedly looking for more shooting with Joe Harris injured, and considering Simmons' limitations offensively, that makes quite a bit of sense. 

All reports have indicated that rising guard Tyrese Maxey is off the table for Philadelphia, and while All-Defense star Matisse Thybulle is probably slightly more available, the 76ers would surely prefer to keep him considering how thin they are defensively without Simmons. Ace shooter Seth Curry would be a sensible middle ground, likely with Philadelphia sending some draft capital to the Nets as well. The two sides have around a day left to make a deal, and with the reporting on negotiations conflicting so heavily, there's no telling whether or not a deal will come before the deadline.