Recently acquired 76ers guard James Harden assured Nets star Kevin Durant on multiple occasions that Harden intended to sign an extension and remain with Brooklyn, per Logan Murdock of The Ringer, via RealGM.
Harden was instead traded to Philadelphia as part of the deal involving Ben Simmons. There was some questions as to whether Harden would actually sign an extension with the Nets leading into the trade.
Harden had even said prior to the season that he was going to wait until free agency, shortly after Durant signed his own extension.
Per Murdock, communication between Harden and Durant broke down after Durant suffered a knee injury in January. Harden began searching for a new team then, as the losses began to pile up, Murdock wrote.
“It wasn’t like it was a disconnect between us as individuals. I felt like we liked each other,” Durant told The Ringer. “But I was focusing on rehab and he was focusing on the team. Naturally, I wasn’t around the group, but I can’t control how everybody feels about their situation.
“I can do my best and provide what I provide every day. If it helps someone, cool, if it doesn’t, that’s cool too, but I can’t stress myself out wondering how somebody else feels about the situation.”