With the start of the NBA season right around the corner, the James Harden rumors continue to hang over the Sixers' head. It seemed like talks stalled after the Sixers refused to trade one of their franchise stars, but recent reports show there might have been a change of heart.

Shams Charania of The Athletic has reported that the Sixers have made All-Star Ben Simmons available in trade talks for James Harden.

Although the team has apparently made Simmons available, it doesn't look like the talks have been that serious. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski has also reported that the two sides have not come close to a deal.

This news comes as quite a shock after talks have been looming for weeks. With the start of the regular season right around the corner, it would be shocking for the Sixers to make such a drastic change.

With the Sixers showing the willingness to make Simmons available, they now have to be the clear frontrunner to acquire the former MVP. Despite Daryl Morey inserting Simmons into trade talks, it would be shocking for him to finalize a deal including him.

When Morey and Doc Rivers came to Philadelphia, they mentioned Simmons and Embiid as the key reason as to why they chose to come here. It would be shocking for them to move on from the duo before they take the floor in a regular season game.

Morey did a phenomenal job revamping the supporting cast around the All-Star duo to maximize their talents. Although their offense looked shaky at times, it still looked this group could make some noise as they get used to playing around each other.

Acquiring Harden would instantly put the Sixers in the group of favorites to win a championship this year. But dealing away Simmons could be a franchise-altering move that changes the trajectory of the franchise for the foreseeable future.

Kevin McCormick is the 76ers insider for 97.3 ESPN and 76ers editor for Sportstalkphilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @KevinMcC973.

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