Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant has hit back at Grantland’s Bill Simmons over his continued criticism of the decision to trade James Harden.
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Simmons has been outspoken in his criticism of the Harden trade three years ago, which he believes was a fatal move from the Thunder front office in their bid to win a championship.
The columnist was responding to a OKC newspaper article discussing the deal, and he pointed out that they had missed the key point in the move in that the Thunder didn’t have to trade Harden when they did.
Simmons argued that OKC could have made a title run in 2013 and stayed under the tax and then dealt with the guard’s restricted free agency that summer.
In addition, he criticised the Thunder’s decision not to up their offer to match Harden’s demands for an extension and believes that they willingly made the deal because they were happy with what they were receiving in return and in the process undervalued Harden.
While that is all difficult to argue with given that most of it is true, there are various variables involved in this argument that mean it is almost a mute point and that is arguably why Durant has called for the conversation to stop.
Had Harden remained in Oklahoma City, there is no way of telling whether or not he would have developed into the MVP candidate that he is today playing a role behind both Durant and Russell Westbrook.
The 25-year-old has flourished with the Rockets as the main ball-handler and top offensive player, and so leaving the Thunder was potentially the best decision for his career.
Nevertheless, Simmons is adamant that OKC should be criticised for their choice and role in the process, but Durant has been ready to move on for a while.
@KDTrey5 sorry – if your hometown paper is gonna throw me in a revisionist piece that doesn't put all the facts in, I am saying something.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) April 5, 2015