How the Ben Simmons-James Harden Trade Impacts 2022 NBA Title Odds

How the Ben Simmons-James Harden Trade Impacts 2022 NBA Title Odds article feature image

Getty Images. Pictured: Ben Simmons (left) and James Harden.

The 2022 NBA trade deadline is heating up! We’re tracking every move on deadline day, including how futures odds could be impacted with today's massive trade between Atlantic Division rivals.

The Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers have pulled off a blockbuster trade that will send James Harden to Philly and Ben Simmons to the Borough of Kings.

The trade ends a months-long saga for Simmons who refused to play for the Sixers and send Harden to his preferred destination after he soured on the Nets in recent weeks.

Trade Details

Updated trade:

Philadelphia also receives – Paul Millsap

Brooklyn receives – Andre Drummond

— FantasyLabs NBA (@FantasyLabsNBA) February 10, 2022

How the Simmons-Harden Trade Impacts Title Odds

The biggest shift in odds is for the Sixers who are now +750 to win the NBA championship at DraftKings. Just before the trade they were +1200 to win the the title. The Nets were +320 to win the title before the trade and dropped to +425 before settling back at +350.

The 76ers were already favorites to win the Atlantic division at -125 with the Nets listed at +105 as recently as Friday. However, the Nets still had an edge in terms of their odds to win the Eastern conference (Nets +140, 76ers +475).

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Simmons-Harden Trade Analysis

The NBA’s biggest blockbuster of the season, maybe of the decade, maybe ever went down Thursday as according to multiple reports—and first reported by the Athletic’s Shams Charania — the Philadelphia 76ers have agreed to trade Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, and two first-round picks (protected) for Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden and Paul Millsap.

The deal brings to a close one of the messiest and longest dramas in NBA history as Simmons head to Brooklyn. The Nets now add a Defensive Player of the Year candidate with superb athleticism and playmaking ability but of course a devastating liability in shooting.

Almost as important given the uncertainty around Simmons, who hasn’t played in eight months, are the draft picks, which allow Brooklyn to pursue upgrades to the roster in future seasons.

For the Nets, they get return on value, Simmons’ potential as an answer for their defensive issues, Curry as a top-end shooter next to Joe Harris (who may miss the rest of the season) and Patty Mills. It’s not clear at this time if the Nets intend to keep Andre Drummond or buy him out.

Philly adds Harden, a top-level scorer and playmaker — when healthy and engaged — who comes with questions about whether years of heavy usage have diminished his ability to impact the game at his former MVP level, and a true star next to Joel Embiid. The Harden-Embiid pick and roll will be deadly, especially with Embiid stopping to pop at 18 feet.

Don’t be surprised if Harden suddenly plays himself into shape and looks more motivated. The rumors and reports of his unhappiness with Brooklyn were widespread. This is where Harden wanted to go.

Nets odds moved longer at BetMGM to +425 after the trade, then immediately shifted back to +350 while Sixers odds shortened to +550. The Nets now have a 22% implied chance at the title (which definitely has some EV with Kevin Durant expected back) while the Sixers move to 15%.

There’s a lot to figure out with how this trade will work for both sides and what their rotations will look like, but both teams improved in this trade, both teams solved major problems with stars wanting out, and both teams now compete for the same title. The Nets and Sixers meet for the first time with these new rosters on Thursday, March 10. — Matt Moore

On the surface this feels like a good deal for the Philadelphia 76ers. A few months ago it appeared the 76ers had no leverage in trading a disgruntled Ben Simmons who was sitting out this season to facilitate a trade out of Philadelphia.

The 76ers now gain a top 10-15 player in James Harden in exchange for Simmons was wasn’t expected to net a player better than Malcolm Brogdon. However, Harden seems to be on the decline since suffering a hamstring injury last season.

This year he’s seen his production dropped to levels we haven’t seen since he came off the bench in Oklahoma City, averaging 22.5 points on 41.4% shooting and 33.2% from behind the arc, the lowest of his career. When you factor in that Harden is a free agent this summer and they will have to pay 200 million for a star with a ton of mileage, it seems the 76ers window could be this year only.

Harden could very well return to form and if he does, he’s certainly a worthy addition to a 76ers team which lacked perimeter scoring and playmaking but his fit with Embiid could be clunky even if he’s healthy.

With the 76ers also giving up Andre Drummond, Seth Curry and two first round draft picks, it feels like the Net got the best of this deal as it gives them a better interior presence, playmaking and shooting which could give them a legitimate chance at winning the Eastern Conference. — Raheem Palmer

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