Despite the rumors that the Brooklyn Nets were willing to listen to offers from the Philadelphia 76ers for Ben Simmons late last week, head coach Steve Nash shut down the rumors by making it clear this weekend that there are no plans to trade James Harden.
Before the Nets played the Nuggets on Sunday, Nash stated that the Nets plan on keeping Harden for the foreseeable future. According to ESPN, Harden missed the Nets’ loss to the Nuggets due to hamstring tightness.
“I’ve talked to James; he wants to be here,” Nash said. “He wants to be here long-term as well, so I don’t think anything’s changed other than noise from the outside. James wants to be here, we’re building with James, and we think we have the best chance to win with James. I don’t think anything’s changed on the inside, in our locker room, in our communication; it’s just all the noise from the [outside].”
Brooklyn guard Kyrie Irving also believes that his starting backcourt mate will be around after the NBA trade deadline on Thursday.
“I think James can speak better to that than I can,” Irving said. “We’ve had conversations, but I’m just getting back into the swing of things, how all those media plants start going around with rumors and stuff like that; I really do not concern myself with that.”
The speculation of Harden’s unhappiness and reports of Harden wanting to explore free agency options after the season fueled possible issues behind the scenes. Accounts that were strongly refuted a couple of weeks ago.
The reports on James Harden being unhappy in Brooklyn?— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) January 26, 2022
He has no idea what you’re talking about 😬 pic.twitter.com/OQS32id1KV
After losing to the Nuggets 124-104, the Brooklyn Nets are struggling through an eight-game losing streak along with a lengthy injury list that includes Harden (hamstring tightness), Kevin Durant (knee), Joe Harris (ankle surgery), LaMarcus Aldridge (ankle) and Nic Claxton (hamstring tightness).
On Tuesday, the Nets return from a winless road trip to take on the Boston Celtics.