The Brooklyn Nets Big 3 experiment came to a merciful end Thursday when general manager Sean Marks pulled the trigger on a James Harden–Ben Simmons blockbuster trade that included Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, Paul Millsapand two first-round draft picks.
The reason for the deal boiled down to a shared frustration that the superstar trio of Harden, Kyrie Irvingand Kevin Durant could not get on the court for a consistent stretch of their time together in Brooklyn.
“These decisions to move on from a player like that, of that caliber, are never easy ones,” Marks said. “I think it’s just a feeling; it’s a feeling when, you know, look, this is not working, whether it’s on the court, off the court, for a variety of different circumstances. I give James credit for being open, upfront, and honest. ”
After several days of will-they will not speculate, they ultimately decided to part ways because it was clear to the Nets it was time for a change. Marks said the Nets were willing to keep Harden and make it work if a trade did not materialize on Thursday.
“This was something that James and myself talked about over the last few days”
Nets GM Sean Marks talks about how the James Harden trade came about: pic.twitter.com/HsW3X36yzX
– Nets Videos (@SNYNets) February 11, 2022
According to Marks, Harden did not give any other reason for wanting to leave Brooklyn after less than two seasons and playing just 16 games with Irving and Durant. Most of which were due to injuries, and for right now, Irving’s decision not to get vaccinated against COVID-19 violates New York’s vaccine mandate.
“I probably would not be honest with myself if I thought we were not all frustrated that they could not be together on the court at one time, and that being one of the reasons (Irving’s vaccine status), sure,” Marks said. “One is another is obviously injuries. We’ve seen Kevin have injuries, we’ve seen James have injuries, you know, there’s a lot of factors going in there. ”
The Nets are looking to end their 10-game win streak but will not be playing Ben Simmons for the foreseeable future as he climbs his way back into shape. Meanwhile, Irving has reportedly grown frustrated with his limited availability. Brooklyn looks to get back on track against the Heat on Saturday.
Sean Marks speaks on Kyrie’s limited availability pic.twitter.com/Qx7cEoZuCR
– Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 11, 2022