"If it were not for Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets would be interested" - Stephen A Smith says KD stopped Nets from trading Kyrie Irving for Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons battles the Brooklyn Nets
Ben Simmons battles the Brooklyn Nets
Adit Pujari

The Ben Simmons and Philapdelphia 76ers fall-out has reached the Brooklyn Nets shores. A clash that has created ripples around the world apparently still has a few surprises left in its bag. Stephen A. Smith, in an exciting turn of events, shed some new light on the behind-the-scenes conversations between Philly and Brooklyn.

Stephen A. Smith says Brooklyn Nets were interested in Ben Simmons

While talking to Kendrick Perkins, Smith said:

Here’s another thing that could happened! Kyrie could have ended up in Philly. Sean Marks couldn’t do that because KD wasn’t having it. KD wasn’t having it. KD like ‘Kyrie ain’t going no damn place!’ Let me tell you something right now, Philadelphia might’ve said no, but I assure you, I assure you, if it were not for Kevin Durant, the Brooklyn Nets would be interested in making that deal.
Stephen A Smith just said the Nets would have traded Kyrie Irving for Ben Simmons but Kevin Durant is the one who said no, not GM Sean Marks.

The Brooklyn Nets, on paper, are an excellent offensive team. Their 2020-21 performance proved their might as an attacking squad. However, their defense remained a worry for Nets fans. Ben Simmons is an excellent defender. His perimeter defense is perhaps the best in the league or is only second to Rudy Gobert's.

With the Australian star in their midst, the Brooklyn Nets could have fortified their defense while holding a magnificent paint player capable of exceptional playmaking. That being said, the uncertainty over Ben Simmons' playoff potential could have definitely weighed on the team's morale.

I’ll never understand what went through Kyrie’s mind to do this.

At the same time, Kyrie Irving could have been a brilliant replacement for the 25-year-old Simmons. A phenomenal playmaker and three-point shooter, Irving would have been a great match alongside current Sixers leader Joel Embiid.

Having averaged 26.9 points and six assists in the 2020-21 regular season, Irving proved himself to be an exceptional scorer capable of splitting defense and creating space for the centers and forwards in his team to dominate the offensive paint. And unlike Ben Simmons, Kyrie has never shied away from shooting regardless of pressure or criticism.

However, Smith claims that Kevin Durant stepped up to end Philadelphia 76ers hopes of acquiring a championship caliber player. We can only assume KD's reasons but by assessing Kyrie's worth and the abilities he brings to the Brooklyn Nets camp, it isn't hard to deduce the Slim Reaper's reasons for not letting Uncle Drew leave the Brooklyn shores.

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Edited by Arnav Kholkar
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