Let’s get it back to the Sixers.

On Saturday, Keith Pompey at the Inquirer reported that the Suns wanted to put together a three-team deal to land Tobias Harris. Then, on Sunday, there was a follow-up story titled “Source: Phoenix Suns end Tobias Harris pursuit as Sixers remain adamant about keeping star forward.”

It included this blurb:

“The Suns envisioned Harris playing alongside Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal. And they wanted to acquire him before the start of free agency on June 30 because of the new collective bargaining agreement and possible second-apron ramifications.

Phoenix would have had to move (Deandre) Ayton as part of the Harris deal. But the Sixers have no interest in the 7-foot, 250-pounder or any players the Suns would make available.”

That resulted in this tweet from the Hoops Reference account and a response from Sixers President of Basketball Operations, Daryl Morey:

By using context clues, which we were first taught about in elementary school, Morey seems to be saying that this is fake news.

Now whether or not that’s true is nigh-impossible to determine, because it’s not like someone out there has compiled a list of Keith’s reports over the last 10+ years and kept a running count of what turns out to be true and what turns out to be false. In this case, the Harris/Suns thing probably has to be labeled N/A because he’s talking about things that no one can prove anyway.

Here’s the exercise:

The Suns did not trade for Tobias Harrisconfirmed

Did the Suns have interest in trading for Tobias Harris?no clue

This is common in basketball. Someone might report, for example, that player X was part of the initial framework for a three-team trade. But in the end, player X is left out and player Y is included instead. Does that mean player X was never discussed? Not necessarily, which is why it’s hard to determine how many guys below the Woj/Shams level are legit vs. not legit.

In this case, Morey can come out and deny in gif form, but at that point it becomes a simple he said/he said and the fans  have to decide who to believe. Daryl obviously does not respond to every trade report that hits the wire, so you can draw your own conclusions about him chiming in here, and/or mull over the plausibility of Phoenix even considering some kind of move like that. A scan of the Twitter replies reveals a mix of siding with Morey and fans asking him to get off social media and find a way to get the Sixers past the second round.

Regardless of what you end up believing, we all should be wary of shitting on sources as a basic exercise in wariness. Look at the Joe Santoliquito/Carson Wentz thing as the perfect example. Everybody thought Joe was full of it, then his PhillyVoice piece was largely corroborated over the following year-plus.

The truth is that “sources” can come from anywhere. It’s a very complicated scene. You can be fed garbage by agents, take leaks directly from teams, or work proxies in the sense that person A is giving information to person B and has no clue that person B is then passing that on to a person C. It’s a weird world of bullshitting and gaslighting and obfuscation and other unpleasant experiences. These are non-linear exercises and there’s no playbook for any of this, so ultimately you gotta decide for yourself who is full of baloney and who is not.