It’s all about Matisse Thybulle.
The 76ers are refusing to put Thybulle in the deal to acquire James Harden from the Brooklyn Nets, according to sources.
League sources have said the Sixers and Brooklyn Nets are willing to swap the key pieces — the Sixers’ Ben Simmons for the Nets’ James Harden. However, the trade discussions are on the pieces that will be added to a potential deal.
The Sixers have been adamant about not packaging their young standouts Tyrese Maxey and Matisse Thybulle. The trade deadline is at 3 p.m. Thursday.
Sources say the teams spoke Thursday morning. One source said Sixers co-owner Michael Rubin is involved in the situation and that the Nets are asking for a lot.
On Wednesday, a source said Seth Curry and a first-round pick have been mentioned along with Thybulle as part of a potential deal for Harden. A person close to the Sixers disputed the package centered around Simmons for Harden.
But the Sixers have said they’re content with waiting until this summer to move Simmons in order to keep their young standouts. The Sixers have a plan to acquire Harden in free agency this summer if need be.
Even though the Sixers are confident they can snag Harden this summer, there are no guarantees. This might be the best time to make a deal.
Sixers president of basketball operation Daryl Morey has affinity for Harden. Rubin maintains a close relationship with Harden and his close circle as well. Harden also has a tight relationship with Sixers CEO Tad Brown. Brown was the Houston Rockets CEO and Morey served as the Rockets general manager when Harden played for Houston.
The question remains what pieces the Sixers are willing to give up to get their man.