Roughly 10 seconds after news broke earlier this week that the Sixers would be hiring Daryl Morey as President of Basketball Operations, the rumor mill started churning: would Morey try to bring in his favorite player from Houston, James Harden?
The Mike Missanelli Show debated it Wednesday afternoon.
Stephen A. Smith made the argument in favor of a Simmons-Harden trade on First Take on Thursday morning.
Numerous fan trade machine ideas were tossed out in the NBA Twitterverse.
But... did anyone ask the Rockets what they think?
ESPN's Tim McMahon, one of the most plugged-in reporters with the Mavericks and Rockets, offered up this nugget about the trade rumors on the most recent episode of Brian Windhorst's Hoop Collective podcast:
"MCMAHON: I've already been told, with a few expletives included, by somebody with the Rockets that, 'No Daryl, Ben Simmons for James Harden isn't happening. Don't ask.'
"WINDHORST: It's not up to the Rockets, is it?
"MCMAHON: Well... the answer is no on that."
Oh, okay. That's not ideal.
Now, keep in mind that nothing in the NBA is set in stone, ever. The league has been defined in recent years by its unexpected drama - players forcing trades, execs going back on their word, general chaos - so I wouldn't rule out a Harden move entirely.
But I do think, as many have noted, that the Ben Simmons-Daryl Morey fit isn't as wonky as it first appears. He's not a three-point shooter, but he creates threes at an insane rate:
He's also improved his free throw shooting (however marginally) each season, and is just 24 years old, so that part of his game has room to keep growing.
I have a feeling Morey will initially make moves to complement Simmons and Embiid, rather than try and blow them up immediately.
But you never know.