Kevin Durant Says He'll Wait Until James Harden Trade Is Finalized to Discuss

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2021

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant brings the ball down court against the Charlotte Hornets during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Chris Carlson/Associated Press

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant declined to comment on his team's acquisition of guard James Harden from the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.

When asked about the move by ESPN's Cassidy Hubbarth following Brooklyn's 116-109 win over the New York Knicks, KD said, "I'll wait till the deal's finalized to talk about it."

Per ESPN, the Nets are set to acquire Harden pending physicals in a massive trade that also included the Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Houston secured the Nets' first-round picks in 2022, 2024 and 2026, as well as pick swaps in 2021, 2023, 2025 and 2027. The Rockets also picked up guard Dante Exum and a 2022 first-round pick from the Cavs via the Bucks, guard Victor Oladipo from the Pacers and forward Rodions Kurucs from the Nets.

The Pacers acquired guard Caris LeVert from the Nets and Houston's 2023 second-round pick, while Cleveland came away with center Jarrett Allen and forward Taurean Prince from the Nets.

With Harden set to join the Nets, Brooklyn has one of the most star-studded trios in NBA history, rivaling recent triumvirates like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh with the Miami Heat and Durant, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson with the Golden State Warriors.

Another Big Three of sorts resided in Oklahoma City several years ago when Durant, Harden and Russell Westbrook helped lead the Thunder to the 2012 NBA Finals, where they fell to the Heat in five games.

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Both KD and Westbrook were superstars at that point, but Harden was in only his third NBA season and was primarily a bench player.

He was traded to Houston during the ensuing offseason, and his career took off from there, as he was named an All-Star in eight straight seasons, won the scoring title the past three seasons and was named MVP in 2018.

Now that Harden has been polished into an elite scorer, he is set to join two highly accomplished stars with NBA championships on their resume.

Durant won a pair of titles with the Warriors and was named Finals MVP twice, while Irving teamed with LeBron to win a championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Nets made a big statement during the offseason leading up to the 2019-20 campaign by signing both Durant and Irving. Neither made much of an impact last season, though, as KD missed the entire year while recovering from a torn Achilles and Irving appeared in just 20 games because of multiple injuries.

Brooklyn is just 7-6 this season, but it has been without Durant for a few games for rest and because he came into close contact with someone who had COVID-19, and Irving has missed the past four games because of personal reasons.

Once Durant, Irving and Harden all get in the lineup together, however, opposing teams will have their hands full with three of the best offensive players the NBA has to offer.

There is no guarantee they will mesh together properly since they typically all need the ball in their hands to excel, but shutting all of them down in any given game may be nearly impossible.

Brooklyn is now somewhat lacking in depth after trading LeVert, Allen, Prince and Kurucs in the deal for Harden, so while the Nets can ill afford any additional prolonged absences from members of their Big Three, they are clearly all in on trying to win a championship.