The Brooklyn Nets traded James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers this past week in return for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two first round draft picks.
In making this move, the Nets closed the door on a particularly tumultuous few weeks.
One of the big issues that apparently led to the ultimate decision to trade Harden was his ongoing beef with Kevin Durant.
In a recent session with the media, Durant got very honest about his reaction to the Harden trade.
Kevin Durant shares his thoughts on James Harden’s departure from the Nets. pic.twitter.com/TMJoMJtdA9
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) February 13, 2022
Kevin Durant said by the time he found out James Harden was unhappy, it was already late in the process. At that point, it was unlikely to be salvaged. #Nets
— Brian Lewis (@NYPost_Lewis) February 12, 2022
“James doesn’t have to explain anything to anybody, he’s his own man,” Durant said.
“He makes his decisions on his career by himself, he doesn’t owe anybody any explanation and I wasn’t looking for one. I’m just glad we got this thing done. Now we’re able to move forward and get away from this noise of what may happen, so I’m glad we could push through that. James doesn’t owe anybody an explanation, this is his life.”
This isn’t Durant’s first time commenting on the trade. After the deal was initially stuck, he offered a somewhat frank immediate reaction to the move.
Big picture, it feels like folks didn’t truly realize how much Durant and Harden didn’t get along.
“Beyond the rampant skepticism about the severity of his latest hamstring injury, on top of the ever-present questions about his substandard conditioning and how much it contributed to his unending hamstring troubles as a Net, Harden has been a brooding presence for months,” NBA insider Marc Stein reported this week.
“League sources say there were times before Durant’s injury that the two stars, for reasons unclear, were hardly communicating — followed by the chaos of the past few Durant-less weeks when Harden stopped connecting with anyone to passive-aggressively convey he no longer wanted to be there.”
It will be interesting to see where all parties involved go from here.
In Harden’s place, the Nets now have Simmons.
Simmons, as head coach Steve Nash alluded to this week, comes with his own fair share of issues.
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 13, 2022
Brooklyn’s decision to dump Harden for Simmons was born out of necessity, not desire. Their hand was forced.
How will the move ultimately work out for them? Time will tell.