1: A championship ring
The 32-22 Sixers may be three spots ahead of the Nets in the East but if Brooklyn can get healthy, Philadelphia’s not going to make it farther in the playoffs.
Joel Embiid is an MVP candidate and deservedly so but the Nets were voted as the preseason title favorites for a reason. Remember how Brooklyn’s Big Three dominated Chicago, 138-112, on Jan. 12? And that was without Harris and Aldridge.
The Nets’ biggest competition is themselves. Harden, Durant, and Irving have only played in a total of 16 games together over the past 13 months. That’s less than a fourth of the number of games that are played throughout a regular season.
Brooklyn’s yet to reach its full potential and if Harden isn’t traded, it’ll be an all-or-nothing run to the NBA Finals. There will still be the possibility that he could make his way to the Sixers during the offseason in a sign-and-trade deal but perhaps if the Nets win a ring, he’ll be more motivated to sign a five-year, $269.9 million contract with Brooklyn.
The Nets haven’t won an NBA championship in the history of the franchise and after numerous bleak seasons, Brooklyn finally has its best chance to do so. Why wouldn’t Harden want to be part of that?