Smith explained that Kevin Durant essentially vetoed the deal.
Brooklyn showed interest in trading Kyrie to Philly, per @stephenasmith
“Kyrie could have ended up in Philly. Sean Marks couldn't do that cuz KD wasn't having it. … I assure you, if it were not for Kevin Durant, the Brooklyn Nets would be interested in making that deal” pic.twitter.com/IXcSEqHuy7
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) September 22, 2021
Given Durant’s take on the situation, it seems like the possibility of Irving being traded for Simmons is off the table now. However, had it happened, this would have been one of the biggest NBA trades in recent memory.
Philadelphia presumably didn’t want the situation to get to this point. The team explored potential trades for Simmons throughout much of the offseason.
With the 2021-22 NBA regular season rapidly approaching, some clarity will likely be provided on the matter in due time.