And so, the world waits (and hyperventilates). The NBA trade deadline is hours away, and we could be left today with anything from Ben Simmons staying to James Harden coming to the Sixers.

The Sixers and Nets have held trade discussions. Various names have been mentioned. What will Daryl Morey do in this high-stakes game of James will soon be leaving in free agency, so won’t you trade him for Ben?

The Sixers have plenty of reasons to want to get something done in a fantastic season from Joel Embiid. He’s said again that he’s not going to babysit. Now it’s up to the front office to get something done this season if possible so that the Sixers can pair him with someone who actually wants to play.

And if you ask Marcus Hayes, he’s willing to include Tyrese Maxey to get a deal for Harden done.

— Inquirer Sports Staff, @phillysport

If the Sixers don’t trade Ben Simmons by the deadline, what should they do with him?

Off the Dribble

While talks between the 76ers and Brooklyn Nets have mostly remained stagnant at the NBA trade deadline thus far, small details have trickled out at a snail’s pace. One such detail came from The Inquirer’s Keith Pompey, who reported the pieces in a potential trade of Simmons for Harden.

The two stars aside, not much has been reported about players who would be in the deal. Sources revealed to Pompey that the talks have centered on the Sixers’ sending Matisse Thybulle, Seth Curry, and a first-round pick.

It looks like the Sixers will have to make real concessions to get Harden. Curry, who is Doc Rivers’ son-in-law, would be shipped out along with the previously “untouchable” Thybulle in that scenario. We’ll see where things settle once the deadline hits today at 3 p.m.

Next: The Sixers play the Oklahoma City Thunder at 7 p.m. Friday at the Wells Fargo Center. Depending on how the deadline plays out, this could be an interesting day.

Early Birds

Today is the day when Dick Vermeil, the coach who led the Eagles to the Super Bowl in 1981, could be elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He has numerous Hall of Famers who believe he should be in, and as the coaching finalist, he should have a pretty good shot at it. So let’s do some reminiscing, as Vermeil recalls old times and those who played for him recall how he managed to get the most of his players.

The press conference will be held near the site of the Super Bowl in Southern California, and an Eagles player was already honored Wednesday as part of the lead-up. Safety Rodney McLeod was recognized by the NFL Players Association with an award for “one player who demonstrates a profound dedication to positively impacting his team’s city and communities across the country.” McLeod has definitely done that with his community work in Philadelphia.

Extra Innings

Jeremy Giambi, who played for the Phillies in 2002, died Wednesday. He was 47. “Our condolences go out to his family during this very difficult time,” the team said in a statement.

On the Fly

The Flyers returned from the All-Star break on a two-game winning streak, but it didn’t last long as they dropped their first game back, 6-3, to the Detroit Red Wings.

Rookie forward Isaac Ratcliffe scored his first NHL goal, but there weren’t too many other positives as the Flyers mustered only 24 shots on goal against the Red Wings.

Next: The Flyers have a chance at revenge as they travel to Detroit for the second leg of their series with the Red Wings on at noon Saturday (NBCSP).

Fleet Street

Several members of the U.S. women’s national team signed a letter to both candidates for the U.S. Soccer presidency, decrying a culture of abuse in the women’s game and declaring that the federation has too often merely stood by instead of protecting players.

Meanwhile, the Union are unhappy with bureaucratic red tape that has held up the visa of their new striker, the Dane Mikael Uhre.

Worth a look

  • Owls flying around: The Temple men’s basketball team’s defense has been impressive, and it’s noticeable to former Owls and NBA player Marc Jackson, who can see that this team has taken on the mentality of coach Aaron McKie.

  • A stunner: The Villanova women’s basketball team pulled off a major upset, playing at UConn and ending the Huskies’ 169-game conference winning streak.

Trivia question answer: Since the NFL’s championship was named the Super Bowl in 1967, how many appearances have the Eagles made? Psych — were you paying attention? Some of our staff thought the question was too easy, so a trick element was introduced by not including the correct answer. Several readers weren’t fooled. Congratulations if you were one! The Eagles have been to the Super Bowl 3 times.

We compiled today’s newsletter using reporting from Keith Pompey, Christian Red, EJ Smith, Scott Lauber, Giana Han, Jonathan Tannenwald, and Mike Jensen.