Kevin Durant appeared to be happy with how the day’s events played out for the Nets on Thursday. In a blockbuster deal, Brooklyn acquired Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two first-round picks in exchange for James Harden and Paul Millsap.
Thus allowing the Nets to turn the page on the last few weeks as rumors swirled about Harden’s unhappiness in Brooklyn and his commitment to the organization. Durant has been recovering from a sprained MCL, but appeared on TNT prior to Thursday’s game between the Nets and Washington Wizards for the NBA All-Star draft show.
“I’m excited for our team finishing the season up with this new group and these new players,” Durant said. “It’s playoffs right around the corner so we have to fast track it so we can get used to each other. I’m excited. I think everyone got what they wanted.”
The Nets can now look forward after weeks of trying to figure out what their future held. It’s unclear when Simmons will be able to join the, but he is reportedly excited to be Brooklyn bound and is preparing mentally and physically to get back on the court. He has already had a conversation with Durant, ESPN reported, and it was also said that Simmons will join the Nets on their short road trip in Miami.
Ben Simmons will join Brooklyn Nets on their road trip tomorrow in Miami. pic.twitter.com/UGODfQFpLh
— 👑 Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson (@ScoopB) February 10, 2022
The deal was made official just before 9:30 p.m. on Thursday night.
For Nash and the Nets they’re ready to push forward with a new group coming into place. Brooklyn is also trying to get to the all-star break, when they expect to start getting some of their injured players back afterward.
“They’re a resilient group,” Nash said. “They’ve been great through a tough period, so I think these guys know that side of the league is like and could be difficult. I’m sure they’ll handle it as best as possible. Now for us, we just look forward and get excited about what the next chapter looks like, and where we go from here.”
Still, there was still some focus on the past on Thursday night hours after the deadline had passed. During the all-star draft, Durant passed on selecting Harden for his team at the all-star game in Cleveland, including a humorous moment at the end where the Nets cornerstone chose Rudy Gobert with his last pick over Harden.
oh my god pic.twitter.com/R72GonUaZm
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) February 11, 2022