Green on Simmons: ‘I think he lost this battle'


The James Harden-Ben Simmons trade was a long time coming, and it still feels too good to be true.

Two superstar players, both of whom wanted out of their respective teams, traded for one another. And within the same division!

While it looks like a win-win for the main players involved, at least one Sixers player doesn't agree.

Danny Green taped his Inside the Green Podcast just after the NBA trade deadline, a couple hours after Sixers GM Daryl Morey worked his magic.

Green talked at length about the big trade, and as diplomatic as he tried to be, he couldn’t contain his excitement for the incoming star, while also throwing some shade toward the outgoing one.

“Daryl is winning. You see the Kyrie [Irving] situation, you see the Ben situation, where guys sit out, not getting vaxxed. Ben got the trade he wanted, but, to me, I think he lost this battle. He had to lose out on more than half the season. He’s still going to a contender, but Daryl’s got a lot of things done here. And I still don’t think he’s done. I think he’s going to find some other pieces to where he can add to this group and to make us a championship contender.”

It’s not the petty level of Green’s teammate, Joel Embiid, who flamed Simmons with the perfect meme on social media immediately following the announcement of the deal, but Green isn’t that kind of guy. He’s going to call it like it is, without completely throwing a fellow NBA player under the bus, no matter how much that player hamstrung his team.

Green also went into what makes Harden great, and the aspect of his game that mirrors Embiid’s, and could really come into play in the postseason.

“His playmaking, but the way he gets to the free throw line. His IQ as a player of getting guys in foul trouble. Joel’s getting bigs in foul trouble, him getting guards in foul trouble, we could foul out a couple guys – if we have to slow the game down, we can, we can also push the pace – but his vision and his IQ, getting guys in foul trouble, getting us to the free throw line, allows him to get in a rhythm and allows us to get easy baskets, which you’re going to need in the playoffs. With those two being that threat, I think that could definitely take us over the hump.”

It gets overlooked by many, but this could very well be a huge key to a deep playoff run. Harden’s free throw rate is down significantly from his years with the Rockets, but he still takes 8.0 shots from the line per game, ranking third in the league, behind Giannis Antetokounmpo (11.1) and, you guessed it, Embiid (11.0).

Factor in how well both shoot from the line – Harden at 86.9% this year, Embiid at 81.2% - and the two stars can combine for a “death by a thousand paper cuts” situation, especially when the tempo slows down in the playoffs.

We have to wait and see how it plays out, but Morey has put the pieces in place to be formidable for this season and beyond.

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