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James Harden and Ben Simmons trade: Did the Philadelphia 76ers or Brooklyn Nets win the blockbuster deal?

Our analysts review the James Harden and Ben Simmons trade; did the Philadelphia 76ers or the Brooklyn Nets win the blockbuster deal?

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Kenny, Chuck, EJ, and Shaq debate who won the James Harden-Ben Simmons trade? The Nets or the 76ers?

After a seismic trade like the one we witnessed on Thursday night, the debate is always: who got the better end of the deal?

Some people will suggest that pairing James Harden with Joel Embiid makes it inarguable that the Philadelphia 76ers won the trade.

Others will suggest they sacrificed too much depth in giving away Seth Curry and Andre Drummond and that the Nets adding that handy pair (a great shooter and a great rebounder) plus Ben Simmons, means they got the better end of this deal.

The debate certainly got heated on Inside the NBA on Thursday night between Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley and it was a fun topic of debate among all hoops fans on Friday.

Here's some analysts' thoughts on who won the trade.

Charles Barkley - Inside The NBA analyst

"The Brooklyn Nets won the trade. Philadelphia, to me, they gave up a lot of depth. I wouldn't have traded Seth Curry and I like Andre Drummond.

"If Ben Simmons plays – and it might not work out this year – but they're going to have a really good team going forward. To me, Philly's got to win this year and next year, because James has slowed down, he's not the same player, and I don't know how him and Embiid are going to work together. They both need the ball.

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"James is going to have to make the bigger sacrifice because Embiid is a better player. When you get two great players together, one guy is going have to take a backseat – to me it's going to have to be James. James is going to have to be more of a point guard to get those other guys [involved]. He's got to get Tobias Harris involved, because now Tobias Harris for me is the big loser. He's going to get no shots now.

"[Harden] has to be the second-best player for the Sixers, he's got to still play great. We haven't seen that since Houston. I'm looking at this trade and I'm concerned for my Sixers."

Shaquille O'Neal – Inside The NBA analyst

"Not true. All [Harden] has to do is get his big guy going and get himself going. He's going to have something to prove.

"For me, the Philadelphia 76ers win this trade, because they have a guy who is a dynamic scorer who - as Chuck has said - is one of the greatest one-on-one players.

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"You can have two guys that score a lot of points on the same team, it's been done before. You've got to make sure the big guy eats first. Go to the big man, let him eat first and if he gets tired or gets in foul trouble, then you go to work. James, can get 28 easily. He hasn't done that because he's been sitting back, he doesn't have to sit back now they need him to score and they need him to do it now, so I disagree that [the Nets have won this trade]."

Mo Mooncey – Sky Sports Heatcheck analyst

"It's a win-win trade!

"Brooklyn managed to get a solid return for an unhappy superstar. Ben Simmons massively upgrades their defense, and can flourish on offense too – remember the playoffs last year when Bruce Brown came up huge as the roll-man? That'll be 7ft Ben Simmons this time. Seth Curry is the perfect replacement for the injured Joe Harris as he's also a lights-out shooter, and Andre Drummond can provide much-needed rebounding.

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Hours after the Brooklyn Nets broke up their 'Big Three' and sent star guard James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers for forward Ben Simmons, head coach Steve Nash was trying to put a positive spin on the move

"As for the Sixers, they finally got MVP-calibre Joel Embiid a fellow superstar to play with. They now have the league's best one-two punch. Both players are elite at drawing fouls and can score from anywhere on the court. The 76ers managed to retain Tyrese Maxey and Matisse Thybulle, two young core pieces of their rotation.

"The answer to who the real winner is won't be apparent until the Eastern Conference Finals!"

Stuart Hodge – Sky Sports NBA writer

"So, I guess it's on me to break the tie here!

"I think a lot of it depends on the health of James Harden and Joel Embiid. They will mesh beautifully together, I am sure, and Harden showed with the Nets that he can be a playmaker. Less than a year ago he was in the MVP conversation and that was partly down to his increased playmaking.

"However, with the 76ers having sacrificed a lot of depth, they will need both of their stars to be fit and firing for the postseason. If that means having them sit a few games during the season for load management, then so be it. The real disaster for the Sixers would be if one of them went down injured. That would be quite disastrous as Curry and Drummond were both an important part of why this team was good even with Simmons sitting.

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"As for Simmons, I'm not sure he's a winning player – anyone who doesn't have a jump shot and shoots less than 60 per cent from the line is a bit of a liability in this day and age. Just look at the issues Russell Westbrook is having right now for evidence of how the lack of a jumper can be a real issue.

"I'm also worried about how someone who has had chemistry issues with team-mates and whose hunger has been questioned will integrate with two very quirky, in their own respective ways, superstars. Personalities don't fit and this doesn't work for the Nets.

"As for Philly, they're set up to compete to get out the East for years to come, health permitting. Sixers win the trade."

You can have your say own on who wins the trade in our Twitter poll. Feel free to comment with the reasons why you think either side has won the trade.

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