Nets star Kevin Durant nixed potential Kyrie Irving for Ben Simmons trade

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The Philadelphia 76ers have already tried trading Ben Simmons before as he was involved heavily in the James Harden sweepstakes with the Houston Rockets. It was clear at that moment that the Sixers were looking to find a suitable partner for Joel Embiid in order to win a title.

They were unable to land Harden as he was ultimately traded to the Brooklyn Nets, but the Sixers also had their eyes on another explosive perimeter scorer on the Nets and that would be Kyrie Irving.

Per Stephen A. Smith on ESPN’s First Take on Wednesday, the Nets were set to make a deal with Philadelphia that would send Irving to the Sixers in exchange for Simmons. The big reason why it did not happen was that Nets star Kevin Durant nixed it and did not want it to happen:

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.

It is unclear if this was before or after the Harden sweepstakes were complete, but what is clear is that the Sixers are still looking for a perimeter scorer to pair with Embiid. While Simmons is obviously a talented player, he has some glaring limitations that become a huge issue in the playoffs. A guy like Irving would have solved a lot of those issues.

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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