NBA Rumors: Kevin Durant, James Harden 'Back on Good Terms' amid 76ers Trade Buzz

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 13, 2022

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Despite the way their time as teammates with the Brooklyn Nets ended, Kevin Durant and Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden are reportedly back on good terms.

During an appearance on NBA Today, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne suggested there are no hard feelings between KD and Harden even though Harden essentially forced his way out of Brooklyn last season:

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"From what I'm told, the two former teammates are back on good terms now despite [James] Harden forcing his way out of Brooklyn."<a href="https://twitter.com/ramonashelburne?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ramonashelburne</a> on the Sixers' reported interest in trading for Kevin Durant<a href="https://t.co/RI9dUP9Noq">pic.twitter.com/RI9dUP9Noq</a>

Shelburne noted that Durant and Harden were recently backstage together at a Travis Scott concert in London, signaling that any potential issues have been patched up.

News of Durant and Harden being on the same page comes after SNY's Ian Begley reported this week that there are "high-ranking members" of the 76ers organization who have "felt strongly" about talking to the Nets about a trade involving Durant.

Begley added that Durant views Philly as a "welcome landing spot," meaning there could be some legs to the rumors.

In June, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski (h/t ESPN's Tim Bontemps) reported that Durant's business manager, Rich Kleiman, said KD had requested a trade out of Brooklyn and the Nets agreed to work with him on finding a trade.

At the time, Wojnarowski noted that the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat were Durant's two preferred trade destinations.

For whatever reason, nothing has worked out on those fronts yet, and there hasn't been any movement regarding Durant's trade market.

The Suns matching the Indiana Pacers' offer sheet for center Deandre Ayton may have thrown a wrench into their plans to trade for Durant since Ayton may have been a centerpiece of that deal and now can't be traded until during the season.

Meanwhile, the Heat are perhaps hesitant to mess with their depth or to trade away key players like Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro and others.

The Sixers would almost certainly have to part with a rising star at guard in Tyrese Maxey to land Durant, but it could be worth it in order to have a superstar triumvirate of Durant, Harden and Joel Embiid.

Brooklyn's attempt at a big three of Durant, Harden and Kyrie Irving didn't work out like it hoped, as the Nets were knocked out in the second round of the playoffs in 2021, traded Harden to the 76ers during the 2021-22 season and then got swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics.

Trading for Durant would likely be worth the risk for the Sixers, though, as they have been unable to get past the second round of the playoffs despite reaching the postseason in each of the past five campaigns.

Durant is an all-time great who is a two-time NBA champion and two-time NBA Finals MVP, and he is coming off a season in which he averaged 29.9 points per game at the age of 33.

Adding him to the reigning MVP runner-up in Embiid and a perennial All-Star and one-time NBA MVP in Harden would perhaps make the 76ers the scariest team in the Eastern Conference and a force to be reckoned with come playoff time if they could stay healthy.


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