Just to catch you up on the latest ...
On Friday, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported the Nets were “open to discussing a deal” that would send three-time All-Star Ben Simmons to Brooklyn and former MVP James Harden to Philly. On Saturday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski shot down that idea, stating that Kevin Durant wants the organization to keep Harden, while Harden himself has expressed his desire to stay to the Nets’ brass.
So, the sport’s two biggest reporters are giving conflicting reports.
Head coach Steve Nash on Sunday was plainly asked about the idea of trading Harden ahead of the deadline and didn’t mince words.
Reporter: It sounded like, and I don't want to misinterpret you, you guys are not trading James Harden?— DaveEarly (@DavidEarly) February 6, 2022
Steve Nash: "Yes that's correct."
peanut gallery: "mic drop." pic.twitter.com/ID5NdRArpQ
Pretty cut and dry from Nash.
Nash expounded upon his conversations with Harden and where things stand (h/t to our David Early who also cover the Nets for ClutchPoints):
“No, no, I’ve talked to James, he wants to be here,” Nash said. “He wants to be here long term as well. So I don’t think anything’s changed other than noise from the outside. ... James wants to be here, we’re building with James and we think we have the best chance to win with James. So I don’t think anything’s changed on the inside, in our locker room, in our communication. It’s just all the noise from the outside.”
This time of year, everything needs to be taken with a grain of salt. As many others have pointed out, it was just last year that Daryl Morey said he wasn’t trading Simmons. While that didn’t happen, it’s pretty clear to anyone that’s followed along that Simmons was dangled to Houston before the Rockets ultimately moved Harden to Brooklyn. Any response from Nash other than a firm denial would’ve caused waves.
At the same time, Nash could’ve been a bit more diplomatic. The certainty with which he spoke opens him for a lot of criticism is Harden is traded. Which makes you think there’s a strong chance this isn’t just posturing.
We’re still a ways away from 3 p.m. Thursday. Things are weird and they’re just going to get weirder. Embrace it and brace for anything.