NBA Rumors: Sixers New Prefered No. 1 Option For Simmons Emerges

As the trade rumors continue to swirl around Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers, a report today from NBA insider Marc Stein has revealed team president Daryl Morey's No. 1 preference: James Harden. 

Executives with a growing number of rival teams say they see (this) as Morey's new preferred scenario: Keeping Simmons beyond the trade deadline to exhaust every last possibility for executing a complicated sign-and-trade in the offseason that finally brings James Harden to Philadelphia and routes Simmons to Brooklyn.

Keeping Simmons into the offseason in order to pursue a sign-and-trade for Harden has been cropping up lately in rumors amongst many top NBA insiders. But as Stein notes, this would necessitate the Sixers moving out some other salary first. 

"The Sixers would be hard-capped by taking Harden in via sign-and-trade and would thus have to shed more salary than just Simmons' contract according to the league's luxury-tax rules to make it work financially," wrote Stein. 

Which brings us to the other report that's been making the rounds: Philly is trying to ship out Tobias Harris and his $36M salary (plus another $78M over the next two seasons). 

Stein also points to two other clues that suggest the "wait for Harden" scenario is a thing:

(1) Joel Embiid seems to be perfectly on board with waiting things out through this season, as evidenced by his statements this weekend: "(There's) really no urgency to change anything... I think we got everything we need, We're gonna keep on going and I'm happy."

(2) "There is enough noise circulating leaguewide about Harden's reported openness to relocation this summer — after he turned down a lucrative extension from the Nets in October — to give Morey the encouragement he needs to wait," says Stein.

Nets fans... be very very worried. 

Photo Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports