Nets star Kevin Durant said all sides benefited from the deal that sent James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers for Ben Simmons.
The Nets completed a deal that sent Harden and veteran forward Paul Millsap to Philadelphia for Simmons, sharpshooter Seth Curry, big man Andre Drummond and two future first-round picks.
Durant, who was asked about the deal while selecting players as captain of Team Durant for the 2022 NBA All-Star Game, said he is excited for his team and looking forward to finishing the season with a new group.
“There’s playoffs right around the corner, so we’ve gotta fast track into get used to each other,” Durant said. “But I’m excited — I think everyone got what they wanted.”
Durant, unsurprisingly, also chose not to select Harden as an All-Star reserve, and the other All-Star captain, LeBron James, made sure to leave Harden on the board for the final pick.
Instead of selecting his former co-star, Durant selected Jayson Tatum, Devin Booker, Karl-Anthony Towns, Zach LaVine, Dejounte Murray, Khris Middleton and LaMelo Ball.
And on the final pick — which came down to Harden and Jazz big man Rudy Gobert – Durant opted to “go for some size” to slow down LeBron, and selected Gobert over his former teammate.
Durant also said there’s no update on his return timeline from the sprained MCL that is keeping him out until after the Feb. 20 All-Star Weekend.
“No timetable,” he said, “but I’m doing better for sure.”
Regardless of where you stand on the deal, one thing is certain: It’s time to circle March 10 on your calendar. That’s the next time the Nets and Sixers will face-off, in Philadelphia, and given all the players and storylines involved, that game is sure to have some fireworks.