The Nets’ blockbuster deal for James Harden isn’t official yet. But it’s very real, and it has Brooklyn’s players excited for his arrival, even as they tried to dodge questions about it.
“I heard that its not even finalized yet. So I’ll talk about it another time,” said Kevin Durant, who played with Harden in Oklahoma City.
Pressed about playing with Harden before, he simply said, “It was fun.”
Durant has won four scoring titles, while Harden has claimed the last three.
“We all know the kind of player James is,” DeAndre Jordan said. “His game speaks for itself, but I think I’m gonna wait until the trade is finalized to comment more.”
Jeff Green played with Durant and Harden on the Thunder, and is acutely aware of the superstar the Nets are getting. He knows there will be an adjustment period, but said he doesn’t view it as a restart to the whole season.
“It’s just one guy that we have to integrate and get acquainted with what we’re trying to accomplish and what we’re doing on the floor, and I’m pretty sure he’ll pick it up fast,” Green said. “We’re going to do what we’ve got to do to make sure he’s aware of the spots and what we’re looking for.
“He’s going to do what he does best. I think it will be good for us, but I don’t look at it as a restart. It’s just another juice of energy that we’re going to get from him being on the floor and being part of this team.”
The Nets traded away Caris LeVert, Taurean Prince, Jarrett Allen and Rodions Kurucs, as well as a bevvy of draft picks. Jordan said he spoke with each departing player, but opted to keep the conversations private.
“It’s tough, especially for some guys who this is their first time dealing with that experience, got drafted here, had a lot of great times here, grew a lot as players, as young men here,” Jordan said. “But you know, this is the tough part of the business that nobody ever wants to experience, but it is a reality. And I wish those guys the best.I had a lot of fun with those guys and learning with them, from them, grinding with those guys the past season and a half. It’s been a great ride, I wish them nothing but success.”
Green shared the same sentiment, saying it’s a part of the business. But with championship aspirations, the Nets have to move forward and keep the main thing the main thing.
“Just to be there for each other. Things happen in the NBA, but tonight, with the group of guys that we have, that we have to worry about tonight,” Green said. “When everything follows through and we’re all joining all together, that’s when we can communicate on the basis of integrating James, but tonight we had to focus on the task at hand and that was getting a dub tonight.”