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Ben Simmons was reportedly emotional on a phone call with Kevin Durant when the Brooklyn Nets finalized a trade for him on Thursday, Feb. 10.
The NBA trade deadline featured the conclusion of the Ben Simmons-Philadelphia 76ers saga. He did not play a single game this season as he wanted a trade from the team, which did not happen quickly due to the 76ers’ high asking price. But that all changed at the deadline, as Simmons was traded to the Brooklyn Nets, with James Harden going to the 76ers.
According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne (paywall), Simmons spoke to Nets executives and star Kevin Durant as the trade was almost finalized and reportedly had emotion in his voice when thanking them for believing in him.
Ben Simmons reportedly got emotional on phone call with Kevin Durant, Nets
Simmons’ relationship with the 76ers had gotten worse after the team’s playoff elimination by the Atlanta Hawks. He held out after requesting a trade before briefly returning to the team prior to the start of the season. It was then revealed that Simmons would not play for the 76ers, as he was dealing with his mental health.
A Simmons trade finally came to fruition once Harden reportedly let the Nets know just before the deadline that he wanted off the team and preferred to play for the 76ers. Of course, Harden has a relationship with president of basketball operations Daryl Morey dating back to their days with the Houston Rockets. Harden sat out for Brooklyn leading up to the trade deadline, with the team attributing his absence to left hamstring tightness.
The official terms of the trade were Harden and Paul Millsap going to Philadelphia in exchange for Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, a 2022 first-round draft pick (unprotected) and a 2027 first-round draft pick (protected).
As of this writing, there has been no official timeline as to when Simmons will make his debut with Brooklyn. Whenever Simmons is deemed ready to go for the Nets, he will look to help the franchise win their first Larry O’Brien trophy.