The NBA training camp has begun, and James Harden is still in Houston. Still the franchise cornerstone of the Rockets.
The blockbuster trade that was supposed to bring Harden to the Brooklyn Nets got stalled with the Rockets wanting to get a king’s ransom in return. Something that the Nets wouldn’t want to do — mortgage their future.
And at the center of the storm that threatened to tilt the balance of power in the NBA is Kevin Durant, who, reportedly, had a conversation with Harden in forming a super team with Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn.
Kevin Durant denies rumors that he had conversations with James Harden about playing for the Nets:
“I don’t know where you’re making these stories up” pic.twitter.com/TSeiFHw80K
â€” SNY (@SNYtv) December 1, 2020
Durant vehemently denied such conversations between him and Harden on the first day of the Nets’ training camp.
â€œI donâ€™t know where youâ€™re making these stories up, that me and James talked about any of this at a workout,â€ Durant told reporters via zoom on Tuesday. â€œI donâ€™t know where that came from. James is a friend of mine, but I let the front office handle all of that stuff. I was just so focused on working out.
But Durant, who will make his much-anticipated return from an Achilles injury more than a week from now, has acknowledged that he’s heard all the trade chatter.
â€œI heard all the noise that James potentially wanted to come to the Nets, but anyone can make up stories, anyone can write a story, and it gets some traction,â€ Durant said.
â€œNothingâ€™s ever set in stone until itâ€™s set in stone. So Iâ€™ve never thought too much about it, just focused on myself and my teammates probably did the same thing, and we just move forward.â€
Nets re-sign Tyler Johnson, Chris Chiozza
Moving forward is what the Nets have done as they traded for gunner Landry Shamet and re-signed guards Tyler Johnson and Chris Chiozza.
Even without Harden, the Nets are installed as one of the favorites in the East. All eyes will be on the new-look Nets with Durant and Irving and first-time head coach Steve Nash when they host the Washington Wizards for their first preseason game on Dec. 13 to be aired live on YES Network.
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