CultureFriday 02.18.22

Harden/Simmons Trade Shakes Up the NBA’s Power Balance

The NBA trade deadline has concluded with one blockbuster trade: the Brooklyn Nets sent disgruntled superstar James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for disgruntled superstar Ben Simmons. It’s by far the biggest deal of the year, including a few other players and first-round picks, and one that will reset the fortunes of both teams in a tightly contested Eastern Conference.

LZ and Will wax on a few questions: Can the Nets resurrect their disappointing season with Ben Simmons, who hasn’t played all year due to a mental health issue? His Brooklyn teammate Kevin Durant is out for at least a few more weeks with a knee injury, and Kyrie Irving is only playing half of the Nets’ games because he’s unvaccinated. Can the 76ers do better with James Harden, who looks out of shape and has been traded twice in the last two years because he’s been unhappy? And are the title-holding Milwaukee Bucks — with their comparatively quiet trading activity — still the team to beat in the East?

Watch the full episode of The Long Game with LZ & Leitch here.

The Long Game