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Woj: James Harden ‘wants to be there’ and there’s a ‘real good chance that’s the case’

Brooklyn Nets v Sacramento Kings Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Maybe we could all hibernate until 3:01 p.m. ET on Thursday when the dust clears after the trade deadline. Because between now and then, we will be otherwise be buffeted by reports, often contradictory, about what the Nets roster will look like then and in coming days.

After reports that suggested the Nets had relented and agreed to entertain offers for Harden from Philadelphia, Adrian Wojnarowski told ESPN’s NBA Countdown that James Harden has told Kevin Durant and Nets management that he wants to “be there,” meaning Brooklyn and “there’s a real good chance that’s the case” after the deadline.

Woj also hinted that Durant wants more of a commitment going forward and apparently not just from Harden. He told Mike Greenberg

“Here’s where Durant is on James Harden. I’m told that he believed they could win multiple titles with him, Kyrie Irving and James Harden. That’s why Kevin Durant pushed so hard to get Brooklyn to make that deal with Houston last year and he still believes that.

“But he also believes this very strongly. But that Harden and everyone else in Brooklyn is going to have to be as committed to this as he’s been. when you see the level that Kevin Durant has played at from last year to the Olympics to what was perhaps an MVP season this year. James Harden has told Durant and Nets management that he wants to be there and they’re taking his word for that.

So, what’s that mean for the trade deadline? Woj says that there’s a “real good chance” that all this gets resolved without a trade, but that no matter what happens, he needs full commitment.

“Hey listen, trade deadline is Thursday. Kevin Durant is not telling the owner Joe Tsai, the general manager Sean Marks what he thinks they should do at the trade deadline – he’s letting them handle that, but he believes this: when he comes back from this injury, this knee injury, probably sometime after All-Star break in February, he wants a group there that is as committed as him to winning those titles. He absolutely wants to continue with James Harden, stay the course with him, and I think there’s still a real good chance that’s the case when we get past Thursday in the NBA with that 3 p.m. trade deadline.”

Bottom line, per Woj:

“I think (Kevin Durant) want absolutely wants to continue with James Harden, stay the course with him.”

Woj did not detail what that commitment entails for KD or whether it applies to Irving, who still can’t play in New York (or Canada) because he refuses to get vaccinated. The City of New York has no plans to modify its mandate that keeps Irving out of Barclays Center, as Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports has reported.

Of course, it’s the week before the trade deadline and conflicts among reporters is to be expected as sources attempt to give their client a heads-up in trade discussions, paint their guy as the reasonable one in any conflicts. On Friday, Shams Charania reported that the Nets are open to trading Harden for Ben Simmons, leading to a wave of stories on how that could happen. But now, Woj seems to be tamping that down.

Meanwhile, Ian Begley reports “some Nets players are frustrated about the constant rumors surrounding Harden and Philadelphia and there is a concern about how the uncertainly over Harden’s future would impact the rest of the season.”