Seth Curry & the Beard

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Updated: March 11, 2022
irving

It was one month to date since the blockbuster exchange at the trade deadline of two once sought-after All-Stars in James Harden the Beard and Big Body Ben Simmons. Ironically though, with Ben on the sidelines yet to appear in a Brooklyn jersey, Simmons + Harden combined for a grand total of 11 points on 3 of 17 shooting. So often in the trade machine discords, exchanges are identified as All-NBA talent + stuff…well the stuff in this deal were picks, Drummond, and the 24 points, four 3’s on 50% from distance, and 5 steals by little Seth Curry. 

What too often is misunderstood, is how psychological this game is at the highest level. With the supreme athleticism that now floods the NBA and the surplus of top-tier talent that breaks the bank and the box scores every night of the regular season, the true line of demarcation is created from the neck up. Back in early November, I postulated if Seth Curry was built different between the ears and could be the late-game closer for the 76ers (Is Seth Curry Philly’s Closer?).

Without the physical frame of a lead guard or the explosive god-given gifts of an All-NBA killer, Seth is clearly not the guy to ride for 4 quarters as a primary option. However, down the stretch of games, where so many elite talents of this league mentally wither away under the bright lights of crunch time, Seth Curry delivers.

Fortunately for the Brooklyn Nets, they don’t need him to be either. Instead, behind two of the most prolific and unguardable scorers in the history of basketball in Kevin Durant and Uncle Drew aka Kyrie Irving, young Curry is slotted in as the 3rd scoring option. Feasting off the gravity his two superstar teammates create, as a high energy role player whose career has been an uphill climb in a desperate attempt to get out of his big brother’s shadow, Seth’s fit next to Irving and Durant is obviously more ideal in the realms of basketball chemistry rather than the historically ball-dominant James Harden. Compound that with the fact that Curry’s most elite trait is off-ball movement and catch and shoot jumpers from distance and it’s difficult to imagine that he was simply thrown in as an extra in this blockbuster in-conference trade. 

From what we saw last night, with Ben Simmons still on the sidelines ramping up for his return, there is an argument brewing that not only was this trade lopsided in Brooklyn’s favor, but they may have won the deal even if the asset known as Ben Simmons is excluded from the conversation. Completely stripping the Philadelphia 76ers of not only their current depth with Curry and productive backup big man Andre Drummond, but the two 1st rounders acquired also hog-tie the Sixers from making any serious trades for the foreseeable future. In exchange, they got one of the most prolifically poor postseason performers in the history of the league in one James Harden, who will manifest a super-max extension which will presumably pay him 50 million dollars a season at a ripe age of 38 years old. 

Already injury-prone, notoriously now out of shape, and a set of retired jerseys in the rafters of several strip clubs across Texas, getting off James Harden and his future contract for Seth, Drummond, plus assets will at least be a debatable win for Brooklyn when analyzed years down the road. With the added upside of a top 5 defender and an elite facilitator who in transition is lowkey unstoppable, how anyone could watch this matchup and assume the Sixers won the trade of Harden for Simmons + stuff is becoming truly unbelievable. Even if Ben Simmons never develops any semblance of a jumper, is unplayable in crunch time, and continues to shoot with the wrong hand, there is an argument with Harden’s health in combination with his future cost, that Simmons for Harden straight up is of equal value. 

If things couldn’t get worse for Philly, the Nets swooped up the Dragon, Goran Dragić, off the scrap heap on the cheap in the buyout market. It may not be fair to combine his addition into the equation, but nothing about the NBA is ever fair. With all things considered, going into the playoffs with title aspirations, who would Steve Nash rather have on his roster next Durant and Irving: Seth Curry + Dragić + Drummond, or a man whose soul was stolen in San Antonia at the hands of a prime Kawhi Leonard back in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre of 2017? Add in the fact that an in-conference rival is now incapable of making any significant pick-heavy-trades for a half-decade and a blowout on TNT without even adding in the Simmons minutes, and what we have is the 2nd Daryl Morey catastrophe…first CP3 for Westbrook and now, Simmons + stuff for a semi-washed James Harden. It will be interesting to watch the narratives and takes walked themselves back these next few months after the playoffs and the recalculation of the previously perceived analytical genius GM and his favorite commodity, regular season ISO-extraordinaire, James Edward Harden.  

Durant: 25 points – 14 Rebounds – 7 assists

Curry: 24 points – 4/8 3-pts – 5 steals

Irving: 22 points – 4 rebounds – 5 assists – 2 blocks

 

Embiid: 27 points – 15/19 FT – 12 rebounds

Harris: 16 points – 3 rebounds – 3 assists

Harden: 11 points – 3/17 FT – 6 rebounds – 5 assists

 

 

 

 

 

 

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