The former successfully forced his way off the Brooklyn Nets while the latter waited patiently and now gets a fresh start after refusing to suit up for the Philadelphia 76ers this season.
Simmons staying home all year may have had some Nets fans concerned when they heard about the trade Thursday afternoon.
But ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has revealed a positive update for fans in Brooklyn.
Ben Simmons has already talked to Kevin Durant and Sean Marks, @KlutchSports' Rich Paul tells ESPN. Simmons is eager to join Nets and ramp up for a return to play this season, Paul says. "We've got to work to do to get him back to play, but it's a great step in right direction."
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 10, 2022
Those conversations are likely the only reason this deal went down in the first place.
An Infusion Of Talent In Brooklyn
The Nets just weren’t meshing with Harden as a focal point.
Simmons is the star of the trade, but it will still be some time before he gets back on the floor.
But just knowing he is planning to return is a positive for the Nets.
They already have to deal with Kyrie Irving being a part-time player and both Harden and Durant dealt with injuries this year.
Even just having Durant paired with Simmons could be a dynamic duo in the postseason.
The new starting lineups 👀
— ESPN (@espn) February 10, 2022
Curry also adds some great shooting ability to the roster while Drummond can match up with dominant big men around the NBA.
Breaking up the Big 3 after one year was not what the Nets had in mind when trading for Harden last year.
But if he had to go, getting the haul they did in return is a nice consolation to what could have been a much more dramatic situation.