Joe Harris

Nets Rumors: Simmons, Irving, Harris, Curry, Dragic

When Ben Simmons and agent Rich Paul met with Nets leadership – including GM Sean Marks – earlier this week, Simmons told the people in the room that he’s experiencing a “mental block,” which is creating stress that could be exacerbating his back problems, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The setback Simmons experienced prior to his anticipated Nets debut in Game 4 of the team’s first-round series vs. Boston was initially described as a physical one — he was said to be suffering from renewed back pain. But Charania’s report suggests there are still mental obstacles to clear before Simmons returns to the court.

Reporting this week from Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report and Michael Scotto of HoopsHype backs up that idea. Fischer wrote that it’s “quite clear that the mental aspect of Simmons’ return to game action is the biggest hurdle” he has to overcome, while Scotto has heard from a source close to Simmons that the 25-year-old is “going through it right now mentally.”

According to Charania, Nets officials told Simmons in this week’s meeting that the franchise is willing to do whatever is necessary to support him, and Scotto hears that the team has indeed been “supportive at every turn,” making the three-time All-Star more comfortable than he was in Philadelphia. Simmons didn’t end up making it back this season, but Scotto’s source is “very confident” he’ll return to action next season.

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Echoing Jake Fischer’s reporting from earlier in the week, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer suggests a Simmons trade this offseason is unlikely because teams are warier than ever about his condition. A source from a non-playoff team that was previously interested in Simmons told O’Connor, “We’re at the point we’d want to see him play first.”
  • Within his story on the Nets, O’Connor writes that there were “crickets” earlier in the 2021/22 season when the team was reportedly willing to listen to trade inquiries on Kyrie Irving.
  • The Nets had some interest in acquiring an athletic wing defender such as Dorian Finney-Smith, Royce O’Neale, or Marcus Smart prior to this year’s trade deadline, according to Scotto, who thinks the team could explore the trade market for that type of player again this offseason. Scotto speculates that Brooklyn might dangle one of its sharpshooters – Joe Harris or Seth Curry – in those talks.
  • Goran Dragic, who turns 36 next Friday, isn’t considered retirement. The veteran point guard said this week that he’d like to play for two or three more seasons, tweets Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. Dragic will be a free agent this summer after signing a rest-of-season contract with Brooklyn in February.

Nets’ Joe Harris Undergoes Ankle Surgery

Nets forward Joe Harris underwent left ankle ligament reconstruction surgery on Monday, according to a team press release. It’s the second time this season that Harris has undergone surgery on the ankle.

The procedure was performed by Dr. Robert Anderson in Green Bay, Wisc. Harris is expected to make a full recovery prior to next season’s training camp.

Harris appeared in just 14 games this season, averaging 11.3 PPG and 4.0 RPG in 30.2 MPG.

The team’s general manager, Sean Marks, announced early this month Harris would require season-ending surgery. The veteran sharpshooter hasn’t played since November 14 and underwent left ankle surgery later that month. The original prognosis was that Harris would miss approximately four-to-eight weeks. However, he had setbacks during the rehab process.

Harris, who re-signed with Brooklyn on a four-year, $75MM contract in November 2020, will have two years remaining on the contract and could attract attention on the trade market this offseason. The Nets had trade discussions with several teams regarding Harris prior to last month’s trade deadline.

Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Harris, Nets, Horford

The Raptors must address their perimeter shooting this offseason, Eric Koreen of The Athletic argues. Gary Trent‘s shooting slump and injuries to Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby have exposed the lack of natural shooters on the roster. Toronto ought to focus on finding another shooter or two in free agency or the draft, Koreen says. The Raptors currently rank 13th in 3-point shooting.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Nets had discussions with several teams prior to the trade deadline regarding Joe Harris, according to Ian Begley of However, Harris’ ankle injury impacted what teams were willing to give up for him. Harris, who hasn’t played since Nov. 14, opted this week for season-ending surgery on his left ankle. He has two years left on his four-year, $75MM contract.
  • The Nets are running out of time to build chemistry, Mark W. Sanchez of the New York Post notes. Even with Kevin Durant back in the lineup, the rotation remains in flux. Ben Simmons has yet to make his season debut, Kyrie Irving‘s availability remains uncertain, Goran Dragic just joined the team and the coaches are still sorting out frontcourt options. “We are cutting it close,” Durant said. “There’s under 20 games left in the season. We have to go out there and figure it out.”
  • Al Horford has proven his worth during the Celtics’ turnaround, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe writes. Boston has outscored opponents by 7.6 points per 100 possessions with Horford on the court. Horford, whose $26.5MM salary next season is partially guaranteed, has been a defensive anchor during the resurgence. “Everybody thinks Al is up there in age and that he’s lost it,” Marcus Smart said. “He’s still got it.”

Nets Notes: Simmons, Harris, Irving, Harden

A best-case scenario for Ben SimmonsNets debut would be within about two weeks, writes Mark W. Sanchez of The New York Post. General manager Sean Marks said there’s “no real timetable” for Simmons, but indicated the team is hoping to get Simmons more fully involved in practices in about a week.

“Hopefully by the end of next week he’s getting more into the team environment,” Marks said during an appearance on YES Network. “And then we can really ramp up and start him getting into game shape.”

Sanchez suggests that Simmons could participate in a high-intensity workout for the first time next Saturday, noting that the Nets typically require players to go through three of those practices before they’re cleared to play. Sanchez speculates that the March 18 game vs. Portland or March 21 vs. Utah are possibilities for Simmons’ debut.

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • The Nets will recoup an estimated $4.5MM in insurance money as a result of Joe Harrisseason-ending injury, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). While that insurance money will provide a little financial relief for an ownership group projected to spend over $260MM in team salary and tax payments, it won’t affect Brooklyn’s end-of-season tax bill, Marks notes (via Twitter).
  • During his YES Network appearance on Thursday, Marks suggested that the Nets are still hoping for some news soon on when New York City might lift its private sector vaccine mandate that prevents Kyrie Irving from playing in home games. “We’re waiting like everybody else to see how these mandates change, how they tweak,” Marks said, per NetsDaily. “Again, over the next 24-48 hours, hopefully, there’s some news for us as to what they may look like. And Kyrie can get back out here. Nobody wants to be on the court more than Kyrie.” As The New York Times outlines, NYC mayor Eric Adams confirmed today that the public Key to NYC vaccine mandate will be lifted on Monday, but that won’t affect Irving’s status.
  • A source tells Ian Begley of that the possibility of the Nets facing the Raptors in the postseason was one reason James Harden was concerned earlier this season about Irving’s vaccine status. Toronto is the only other NBA city where Irving is currently ineligible to play due to being unvaccinated against COVID-19.

Joe Harris To Undergo Season-Ending Ankle Surgery

6:45pm: Harris will be out four-to-six months, agent Mark Bartelstein told Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). Harris is expected to be 100 percent for the start of next season.

6:11pm: Nets forward Joe Harris will undergo season-ending left ankle surgery, general manager Sean Marks said in a YES Network interview (Twitter link via Frank Isola).

The possibility of Harris requiring another ankle surgery was raised a month ago. The veteran sharpshooter hasn’t played since November 14 and underwent left ankle surgery later that month. The original prognosis was that Harris would miss approximately four-to-eight weeks.

It’s another negative development in a tumultuous Brooklyn season that has included Kyrie Irving‘s vaccination stance, Kevin Durant‘s knee injury and the James HardenBen Simmons trade. Durant returned to action on Thursday but it’s still up in the air when Simmons might suit up.

Harris sustained the injury against Oklahoma City. Heading into that game, the 30-year-old had been averaging 11.9 PPG and 4.1 RPG. Last season, Harris averaged 14.1 PPG, shooting 47.5% from 3-point range in 69 regular season games.

He re-signed with Brooklyn on a four-year, $75MM contract in November 2020. The Nets added Seth Curry in the deal with the Sixers and Bruce Brown has carved out a steady role but the loss of Harris still ranks as a major blow to the team’s championship aspirations.

Marks issued a statement which reads in part, “Although Joe worked diligently over the past several months to rehab his ankle and exhausted every possible avenue in order to get back on the court with his teammates, it was been determined that he will require an additional arthroscopic surgery in the coming weeks.”

Nets Notes: Irving, Dragic, Nash, Harris

The Nets and point guard Kyrie Irving got some promising news today, as New York City mayor Eric Adams told reporters that he “can’t wait” to phase out the city’s COVID-19 vaccine requirements for indoor spaces.

Irving has been unable to play home games all season long due to the local regulations that apply to unvaccinated athletes, but the mayor’s comments today suggest those regulations could be adjusted in the coming weeks.

“I’m not going to get ahead of the science,” Adams said (video link via The Glue Guys). “… They gave us benchmarks. We’re going to follow those benchmarks. But I look forward to the next few weeks going through a real transformation. … We’re moving in the right direction. We’re going to do it in a safe way.”

For now, New York City’s vaccine mandate remains unchanged, so Irving will be ineligible to suit up when the Nets host Boston on Thursday night. But if the city plans to phase out the mandate within the next several weeks, that bodes well for Kyrie’s chances of suiting up in the postseason, which begins in mid-April.

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • While Goran Dragic is looking forward to playing alongside stars like Kevin Durant, Ben Simmons, and Irving, his decision to sign with the Nets was ultimately influenced by his relationship with head coach Steve Nash, who assured Dragic he’d be an important part of the team, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. “If it wasn’t for Nash, Dragic would be either with the Bucks or Clippers,” a source told Scotto.
  • A source tells Scotto that the Nets and Joe Harris will likely make a decision on whether or not the forward needs a second ankle surgery after seeing how things go this week with his recovery process.
  • His roster doesn’t look like he expected it to when the season began, but general manager Sean Marks hasn’t adjusted his expectations for the Nets, as Brian Lewis of The New York Post writes. “Championship. That’s it,” Marks said to a group of season-ticket holders. “I’d be doing 17 players and another 60 staff members over there a massive disservice if I said anything other than that, because that’s what we’re all here for.”

Nets Notes: Durant, Harris, Adams, Irving, Mills, Simmons

The Nets will face the Celtics next Thursday in their first game after the All-Star break. Don’t expect Kevin Durant to be in uniform for that game, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post. Coach Steve Nash said Durant will be eased back into action from his knee injury.

“I’m not like, ‘He’s going to play right when the break ends.’ There’s obviously a small chance, but we want to be really careful because a setback would be tough when there are 20 or so games left,” Nash said. “We don’t want to jeopardize there and have a setback where he misses another six to 12 games, so I think we’ll be cautious coming out of the break. There’s a chance he could play, but I think it’s more likely that we don’t get our hopes that he’s going to play the first game out of the break.”

Durant hasn’t played since January 15.

We have more on the Nets:

  • It’s been two weeks since reports revealed that Joe Harris was mulling a second ankle surgery. Nothing has changed in that regard, Lewis notes in the same story. “I think everything’s on the table at this point,” Nash said. “We hope that he comes back, but we have no idea where this is going to go at this point.”
  • New New York City mayor Eric Adams agrees with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver that current city rules barring Kyrie Irving from playing home games, while opposing players don’t face the same sanctions, are unjust, Sam Raskin of the New York Post writes. “First of all, I think the rule’s unfair. I believe that we are saying to out-of-town athletes that they can come in and not be vaccinated, yet New York athletes do have to be vaccinated,” Adams said. However, Adams is concerned about “sending the wrong message” by lifting the sanctions altogether for fear of another outbreak.
  • Veteran point guard Patty Mills hasn’t been teammates with Ben Simmons for very long but senses that his fellow Australian is hungry to reestablish himself, Nick Friedell of ESPN relays. “His demeanor and his desire not only to get back on the floor but make a significant impact — he’s got a lot of, I believe, fire built up underneath him that has a desire to get back and be the player that he is, and even get better, and even grow and even develop,” Mills said. “And that’s one thing that I’m excited to be in the same room and locker room as him to do my part to help him develop and help him grow and help in any way possible there.”

Latest On James Harden, Ben Simmons

2:32pm: While their trade talks with the Nets have gone nowhere, the Sixers “strongly believe” Harden won’t re-sign with Brooklyn when he reaches free agency and remain hopeful that the Nets will become more willing to engage in trade discussions before Thursday’s deadline, says Sam Amick of The Athletic.

1:42pm: With the trade deadline a little more than 48 hours away, there are conflicting reports about whether the Nets and Sixers still have a chance to complete this season’s biggest blockbuster.

Amid rumors that James Harden might be headed to Philadelphia in exchange for a package that includes Ben Simmons, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype hears that a trade definitely isn’t in the works right now.

“The Nets aren’t trading Harden,” an unidentified NBA executive told Scotto. “He’s staying, and they’ll take their chances in the playoffs. Maybe they’ll look to trade in the summer. They gave up too much to get him and have to see it through this year.”

Scotto adds that Brooklyn is focused on trying to improve the talent around its superstar trio of Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. The team has received calls about Joe Harris and Nic Claxton, but Harris’ value has dropped amid speculation that he will need a second opinion on the ankle injury that has sidelined him since mid-November. Claxton will be a restricted free agent this summer.

If Harden stays put, Simmons will likely remain with the Sixers, who will make another attempt to land Harden this summer, Scotto states. If Harden doesn’t work out, Wizards guard Bradley Beal could be another target, and president of basketball operations Daryl Morey will have more options in the offseason trade market.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN contends that a Harden trade by Thursday remains possible, no matter what the teams are saying publicly. Even if the Nets and Sixers aren’t officially holding trade talks, sources tell Windhorst there have been “back-channel conversations and movement by intermediaries” regarding a Harden-Simmons swap. Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer reported the same thing earlier this week.

“It may come down to which side is more comfortable living with the status quo [if nothing happens],” one general manager said. “Both sides probably want to create leverage by saying they don’t need to do anything, but you can see why both have reason to.”

Windhorst confirms that both teams are pursuing other deals, with the Nets trying to move Harris and the Sixers seeking a taker for Tobias Harris, but he cautions that those talks might be smokescreens.

Nets Notes: Irving, Losing Streak, Harris, Vanterpool, Harden

Kyrie Irving said the Nets don’t need to push the panic button despite a seven-game losing streak, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN. Brooklyn was blown out by Utah on Friday.

“It’s really just where we are, facing reality, that we’re not winning ballgames right now,” Irving said. “And we got to kind of get out of that hole with just one win and then start a new streak from that point. But no time to feel like our season is in doomsday or we need to push the panic button at all points, but we have to face reality that a lot of guys, a lot of my teammates, we’re still getting to know one another, how we play, what’s our spots, offensive and defensive tendencies.”

We have more on the Nets:

  • According to a StatMuse tweet, the Nets should be in panic mode. No team that has suffered a losing streak of seven games or longer has ever won the NBA championship. Brooklyn is 2-8 since Kevin Durant was sidelined by a sprained MCL in his left knee.
  • Reports surfaced this week that Joe Harris might need a second surgery on his ankle. Harris is hopeful that won’t be necessary, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “In my mind, I’m confident that I’ll be able to get back,” he said. “I’ve been optimistic through this whole thing. I haven’t really lost faith in the fact that I’m going to be able to come back and play, and that’s the same spot that I’m in right now. I’m not going to just completely give in on what’s going on.”
  • David Vanterpool was passed over for the head coaching job with the Timberwolves in the middle of last season. Now a Nets assistant, Vanterpool is confident he’ll eventually get an opportunity, as he told Marc Spears of The Undefeated. “I am still going to be a head coach one day,” Vanterpool said. “I know I am. I’m qualified to do the job.”
  • A group of writers from The Athletic take a look at a potential James Harden trade to the Sixers, breaking down the financial implications and potential pieces Brooklyn could acquire.

Nets’ Joe Harris May Need Another Ankle Surgery

There’s growing concern that Nets forward Joe Harris may not return this season, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on the latest episode of The Lowe Post podcast.

“The Joe Harris situation has become really worrisome,” Lowe said (hat tip to Chris Milholen of NetsDaily). “I don’t think it’s a given that he’s coming back this year, and definitely don’t think it’s a given he’s coming back at 100 percent.”

Harris hasn’t played since November 14 and underwent left ankle surgery later that month. The original prognosis was that Harris would miss four-to-eight weeks after the surgery but his recovery has extended well past that point.

Harris may require another surgical procedure, Brian Lewis of the New York Post reports. The forward’s agent told Lewis they’re mulling that option.

“We’re just evaluating. He’s working his way back, he’s rehabbing. But we’re just trying to figure out what’s going to be the best course of action. We have to come to that decision,” Priority Sports’ Mark Bartelstein said. “So I can’t really give you a definitive answer, because we just don’t have it yet of what we’re going to do.

“So it’s possible that there could be one more procedure he could do that would fix the ankle once and for good. But we’re not sure if we need that or not. So the long-term prognosis is great, it’s not going to be a problem; but it’s just, ‘Do we need to do something additional right now or not?’ And we’re just trying to figure that out.”

Harris sustained the injury against Oklahoma City. Heading into that game, the 30-year-old had been averaging 11.9 PPG and 4.1 RPG. Last season, Harris averaged 14.1 PPG, shooting 47.5% from 3-point range in 69 regular season games.

He re-signed with Brooklyn on a four-year, $75MM contract in November 2020.