Nets and Sixers in talks for deal involving James Harden and Ben Simmons: Reports

James Harden Ben Simmons Nets
James Harden reacts during the third quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center.
Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

In the famous words of Samual L. Jackson, “hold on to your butts.” The action is heating up between the Nets and Philadelphia 76ers involving a potential deal that would involve James Harden and Ben Simmons.

The Nets and Sixers were in talks on Tuesday, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, but bickering over the pieces to add in the potential deal. Frank Isola also said multiple times during Tuesday’s YES Network broadcast of the Nets’ loss to the Celtics that the two teams were “definitely talking.”

To further add to the speculation, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst added more fuel to the fire during a hit on GetUp.

[READ: Trade may not be the only thing that keeps James Harden off the floor]

“We are in the deal zone between Harden and Simmons,” Windhorst said. “I can’t tell you they are gonna get it done. But it’s trending in that direction.”

He added that the Nets were asking for two or three players in addition to Simmons in the deal.

It appeared that may be where the hang-up is for the moment between the two sides. The Inquirer also reported that Philadelphia has had conversations with Oklahoma City about moving Tobias Harris’ contract, but that would appear to be more of a negotiating ploy than a serious idea.

Harris has been a strong asset to the Sixers this season and moving him could send the wrong message to a team that is right behind Miami for the top spot in the East.

“But trading Harris, the Sixers’ second-best player, during a season when Joel Embiid is putting up magical numbers would be a tough sell in Philly. Not only is he their second-best player, but Harris is starting to find his groove and play at the high level he played at last season,” the report stated.

All of this has been going on while the Nets have tried to publically downplay speculation of any trades occurring or Harden’s reported unhappiness. Prior to Brooklyn’s loss to the Celtics, Steve Nash told reporters he didn’t think that any trades would occur.

“Honestly I think we’ll be exactly the same,” Nash said when asked about the Nets makeup after Thursday’s trade deadline. “I think the chances of trades or deals happening before the deadline are so slim, especially for our group. My mind and attention is on this group and putting this thing together as guys become healthy again.”

The rumor mill only continued to pick up the frenetic pace, though, as NBA insider Jordan Schultz reported on Wednesday that the Nets “have asked the Sixers for both Matisse Thybulle and Tyrese Maxey,” in a package headlined by Simmons while also showing interest in Seth Curry.

In case the situation was already chaotic enough, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski contradicted his colleague’s, and others’, reporting and said that there were no negotiations going on between the Nets and Sixers for Harden.