Stephen A. Smith Clarifies Report About Kevin Durant Nixing Kyrie Irving Trade for Ben Simmons

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Image via Getty/Al Bello
Image via Getty/Al Bello

Ben Simmons trade rumors continue to define the NBA offseason, with Stephen A. Smith revealing on Wednesday that the Brooklyn Nets would have traded for the Philadelphia 76ers star, but Kevin Durant wasn’t “having it.”

During a discussion with Kendrick Perkins on ESPN’s First Take, Stephen A. hinted at a potential trade involving Simmons and Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving, claiming that Durant told the Nets front office “don’t do it.”

“Kyrie could’ve ended up in Philly,” Smith told Perkins. “[Nets GM] Sean Marks couldn’t do that because KD wasn’t having it.”

He continued, “I assure you: If it was not for Kevin Durant, the Brooklyn Nets would be interested in making that deal.”

After multiple outlets interpreted Smith as saying that Durant nixed an actual trade, the ESPN broadcaster took to Twitter on Thursday to clarify what he meant.

“Here we go with the lies again. I never said any trade offers were made regarding Kyrie & @BrooklynNets,” he tweeted. “What I said is, they would do a deal to swap Kyrie for Ben Simmons in a heartbeat, but @KDTrey5 ain’t having it. He loves his brother Kyrie. He won’t have that!”

The rumor arrives just a day after Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Simmons doesn’t plan on attending the first day of the 76ers training camp next week.

“Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons will not report for opening of training camp next week and intends to never play another game for the franchise,” Woj said on Tuesday. “Simmons hasn’t spoken to team since a late August meeting when he communicated this message to Sixers officials.”

In August, reports surfaced that Simmons had cut off all communication with the team, and was even ignoring Joel Embiid’s phone calls.

According to Jason Dumas of KRON4 News, Simmons wasn’t on speaking terms with anyone in the organization, leaving that responsibility to his agent, Rich Paul. Dumas reported that Simmons’ relationship with his team was “getting worse by the day” and was “beyond repair at this point.”