The Philadelphia 76ers were so sure they had a trade for James Harden secured, they told Aussie pair Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle to pack their bags for Houston.
Obviously, that never eventuated with Harden being traded to the Brooklyn Nets as part of a four-way deal involving Cleveland and Indiana.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the pair were told to prepare for the trade, but the Rockets soon stopped taking the 76ers’ phone calls and likely never intended to accept their offer.
This likely has to do with Philly GM Daryl Morey, who left Houston at the end of the 2020 season and had a poor relationship with new team owner Tilman Fertitta.
The Rockets ended up receiving four first round picks and four pick swaps from the Nets for Harden, who also gave up Caris LeVert and Jarret Allen as part of the transaction.
Harden made his Nets debut on Sunday, dropping a triple double (32 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds) alongside Kevin Durant (42 points) in the 122-115 win over Orlando.