With Harden-Simmons swap, Nets make a move Lakers didn’t

  • FILE - Brooklyn Nets' James Harden (13) tries to drive past Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons (25) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021, in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia 76ers have traded Ben Simmons to the Brooklyn Nets for James Harden as part of a multiplayer deal. The trade was confirmed by multiple people who spoke to The Associated Press Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, on condition of anonymity because the trade had not been announced. (AP... Matt Slocum

  • Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook, right, shoots as Los Angeles Clippers guard Terance Mann defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Mark J. Terrill

  • FILE - Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons takes part in a practice at the NBA basketball team's facility, Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, in Camden, N.J. The Philadelphia 76ers have traded Ben Simmons to the Brooklyn Nets for James Harden as part of a multiplayer deal. The trade was confirmed by multiple people who spoke to The Associated Press Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, on condition of anonymity because the trade had not been announced. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File) Matt Rourke

  • FILE - Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) is shown during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, in San Antonio. The Philadelphia 76ers have traded Ben Simmons to the Brooklyn Nets for James Harden as part of a multiplayer deal. The trade was confirmed by multiple people who spoke to The Associated Press Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, on condition of anonymity because the trade had not been announced. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File) Eric Gay

Associated Press
Published: 2/10/2022 7:28:33 PM
Modified: 2/10/2022 7:26:51 PM

In swapping James Harden for Ben Simmons, the Brooklyn Nets decided they needed to act now as they slide down the standings.

The Los Angeles Lakers didn’t do the same.

A number of deals were made Thursday before the NBA’s trade deadline, topped by the blockbuster between the Nets and Philadelphia 76ers. Just 13 months after acquiring Harden, Brooklyn sent him to a division rival.

Kristaps Porzingis was also on the move, going from Dallas to a Washington team that was busy before the trade deadline. Most of the deals were still pending NBA approval and confirmed to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity by people with knowledge of the details.

In Brooklyn, Harden seemed to have soured on the situation with Kevin Durant hurt and Kyrie Irving only playing in home games because he won’t get vaccinated against the coronavirus. The trade gives the Nets a chance to turn things around.

“I feel like we’ve got versatile players so we’ll have to figure it out and figure out what works for us,” Durant said during an interview on TNT. “But I’m just happy that we got guys that want to be a part of this.”

The Nets have lost nine straight games, tumbling to eighth place in the tightly contested Eastern Conference.

That’s one spot ahead of where the struggling Lakers are in the West.

Los Angeles seems in desperate need of a move after falling to 26-30 with consecutive losses, getting handled easily by defending champion Milwaukee and falling to rebuilding Portland.

But the Lakers didn’t make any, raising the question how they plan to move forward with a roster that hasn’t worked. LeBron James and Anthony Davis have battled injuries and Russell Westbrook has been so inconsistent that he’s been benched down the stretch of some games.

While it was going to hard to move the former league MVP for salary reasons, apparently the Lakers didn’t have any other players anybody wanted in deals. So, they will have to hope they can add players in the buyout market.

James said Wednesday after the loss in Portland the deadline felt like a fog hanging over the Lakers and they needed to see what was on the other side.

“We’ll see what happens,” James said. “We’ll see what happens as far as the deadline.”

For the Lakers, it was nothing.

Brooklyn coach Steve Nash said he was expecting the same for his team, having previously said the Nets weren’t planning to deal Harden.

But the team’s situation was getting worse, with Harden missing the last three games with a hamstring injury and playing poorly the last time he was on the floor.

In moving the three-time scoring champion, the Nets addressed some of their needs. Simmons is a top defender who can guard multiple positions despite his offensive shortcomings and not having played this season while seeking a trade.

Seth Curry gives Brooklyn outside shooting it’s missed with Joe Harris out following ankle surgery. Andre Drummond could start or play a key role off the bench for a team that has mostly played small.

The blockbuster deal adds even more intrigue to the already jumbled playoff race in the East, where Brooklyn was only 5½ games out of first entering play Thursday night.

In other moves Thursday the Wizards were one of the busiest teams.

On the day injured Washington star Bradley Beal had wrist surgery, the Wizards broke apart a roster that had gotten off to a promising start this season. Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans were traded to Dallas in the deal for Porzingis. Washington also dealt Montrezl Harrell to Charlotte for veteran backup point guard Ish Smith, second-year forward Vernon Carey Jr. and a future second-round draft pick.

The Bucks were to land Serge Ibaka from the Los Angeles Clippers in a four-game trade that would land former No. 2 pick Marvin Bagley III in Detroit, ESPN.com reported.

Also, the Toronto Raptors got veteran forward Thaddeus Young from San Antonio, sending Goran Dragic and a first-round pick to the Spurs.


E-Edition & Local Ads


Weather


athol forecast

Social Media




Athol Daily News

14 Hope Street,
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Telephone: (413) 772-0261

 

Copyright © 2021 by Newspapers of Massachusetts, Inc.