Kevin Durant, a two-time NBA champion and two-time NBA Finals MVP, was traded to the Phoenix Suns in a blockbuster trade last February. 

This came after the Nets failed to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy despite having Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden monickered as the ‘big three’, on their roster. With Harden going to the 76ers and Irving finally leaving the Nets for the Mavericks, there was hardly any reason for Durant to stay on the team.

That is, until a fresh online rumor surfaced, suggesting that Ben Simmons’ return to health would have convinced Durant to stay with the Nets and dispelling the notion that Irving’s departure was the final straw, as many fans at the time believed.

The article that started it all

On October 10, Brian Lewis of New York Post wrote an article highlighting Simmons’ development and performance in the Nets’ most recent game against the LA Lakers.

Although it frequently touts Simmons’ remarkable improvement over his performance in the previous season, one specific phrase in particular drew the public’s attention.

“If Simmons had been healthy last season, sources told The Post that Kevin Durant likely would’ve stayed on in Brooklyn even without Kyrie Irving.”

Fans’ reactions to the latest Simmons and Durant rumor

As soon as fans learned about this news from NBA Central on X, they immediately commented on how it might be real given that Simmons is a star player when he’s in good health.

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One X user said, “A lot of people have to realize it was a Time point where Ben Simmons was a number 1 option on a Team with Embiid. Ben Simmons at full health is a superstar. He was Drafted Number 1 to be an MVP-level talent. And up until he got hurt he was always in the conversation.”

While another user was in doubt and wrote, “All ifs, buts & maybes. The fact is KD was always going to leave and go to Phoenix because that was a better situation for him.”

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The photo above is from a YouTube screengrab

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