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#pounditTuesday, October 26, 2021

Kevin Durant nixed Nets’ potential Kyrie Irving-Ben Simmons swap?

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant may be graduating from blocking people on Twitter to blocking trades.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith reported on Wednesday that the Brooklyn Nets had interest in a potential swap of Kyrie Irving for Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons but that Durant put the kibosh on it.

“Kyrie could’ve ended up in Philly,” said Smith. “[But Nets GM] Sean Marks couldn’t do that because KD wasn’t having it. KD [was] like, ‘Kyrie Irving ain’t going no place.’ … I assure you, if it were not for Kevin Durant, the Brooklyn Nets would be interested in making that deal.”

The timing here is certainly interesting because it was recently reported, seemingly out of the blue, that the Nets had interest in trading Irving. The disgruntled Simmons would also be a better fit in Brooklyn that you might think. A truly elite defender is probably the only component that the Nets currently lack in their starting five. They would also be able to somewhat overcome Simmons’ shooting woes by running a 4-out lineup around him with Durant, James Harden, Joe Harris, and Blake Griffin.

Durant and Irving are notably close however. The two came to Brooklyn together, and the former even recently defended the latter on social media. Durant, the former MVP, is still one of the best players in the NBA. Thus, it makes sense that the Nets would not want to make a move that goes against Durant’s vision for the team.

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