Andre Drummond believes reaching 10,000 career rebounds would cement his place as the best rebounder in NBA history, with the Chicago Bulls center closing in on the milestone.

Drummond has 9,968 total rebounds to his name following the Bulls' 124-104 defeat against the Oklahoma City Thunder in their 2023-24 season opener on Thursday.

Having led the NBA in rebounds four times in 11 seasons, Drummond looks certain to reach five figures in the coming weeks, with just 32 more required. 

A struggle for regular minutes has limited Drummond's chances of climbing the NBA's all-time rebounding charts, topped by legendary duo Wilt Chamberlain (23,924) and Bill Russell (21,620).

However, Drummond has previously claimed to be the best rebounder in league history, a belief he reiterated when asked about the importance of hitting the milestone. 

"It puts a lot in perspective for myself and just for the public," Drummond told Stats Perform. "I always tell everybody I feel like I'm the best ever to do it.

"Despite me having – or being about to have – 10,000 rebounds, I think my body of work and my percentages and numbers help prove that.

"Honestly, it just shows the amount of work I put in. Every year I set a goal to be the best rebounder, each and every season.

"To have the honour of reaching 10,000… not too many people have the chance to do that. So I am with a group of high-calibre guys."

Drummond led the league for rebounds in 2015-16 and in three successive seasons between 2017-18 and 2019-20. His 2017-18 average of 16 per game remains his best across a single regular season.

The 30-year-old – who finished Chicago's first game of the new season with five rebounds – has the highest total rebound percentage in NBA history (24.85%).

While Drummond believes his statistics put him right up there with the very best, he also feels honoured to simply be mentioned alongside the likes of Chamberlain and Russell.

"To be associated with Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain, it's a no-brainer not to feel good about yourself," he added.

"Those are the guys who paved the way for guys like myself; strong, brute-force players that do all the dirty work for teams. To be in the same breath as those guys is truly an honour."

Andre Drummond believes London would be a "good place" to move an NBA team and feels now is the right time to expand the league.

The NBA has introduced an in-season tournament for the new campaign, with the Final Four set to be played in Las Vegas in December, leading to some reports the NBA could be looking to expand and place a new team in the Nevada city.

Across the Atlantic, London has also been touted as a potential home to a new franchise.

The NBA last expanded in 2004, taking the number of teams up to 30, and Drummond says it is time to expand again, with London one of the locations the Chicago Bulls center highlighted as a fitting place to put a new team, citing the travel of football teams playing in Europe as an example of how it could work.

"I think it's time [to expand]," Drummond told Stats Perform. "We should do it.

"Even London, because London is close enough. London is like an eight-hour flight. So London will probably be a good place to have a team.

"How far do soccer players travel for games? If they can do it, why can't we? Then we'll be able to shorten the season and then have no more 82-game [campaigns]. Think about it."

London aside, Drummond pointed to Las Vegas and Seattle as ideal locations for new franchises.

Seattle has not had a team since the SuperSonics, winners of the 1979 NBA championship, were moved to Oklahoma City following the 2007-08 season.

"I think we do so much stuff in Vegas already," Drummond added. "Why not just give them a team?

"We bombard their city for almost two months every year, so we might as well put a team there.

"I think Seattle should get the team back. I think their fan base is crazy. I mean, I missed it. I came in two years after but just watching their games there was wild."

The decision to bring in an in-season tournament has split opinion, and Drummond is unsure if there was a need for its introduction, though he says he and his Bulls team-mates are going to take it seriously.

Asked for his views on the tournament, Drummond replied: "I still don't understand it to be honest. I have no idea what it's about.

"Everybody gets a big trophy if you get to the final. So, I guess it gives us an incentive to not have star players sit out because we're playing for something now.

"I think everybody has the mindset to want to win. I don't think anybody is going to take this tournament lightly, there is a big incentive, and we all get something out of it, so why not play?

"We're already doing it so we might as well just play to the best of our ability."

Andre Drummond says it would be a "no-brainer" if LeBron James asked him to join a potential 'Dream Team' for the 2024 Olympics.

Ahead of the Games in Paris next year, James has reportedly been recruiting fellow NBA stars to gauge their interest in suiting up for the United States with the aim of winning a fifth straight men's basketball gold medal for their country.

Drummond was part of the team that won gold at the 2014 FIBA World Cup but was left off the roster for the 2016 and 2020 Olympics and looks an outside shot to be involved in Paris.

However, if James were to call, it would be an easy answer, with Drummond telling Stats Perform: "Yeah, I would go back, I wouldn't think twice. I'll go back.

"Not even just him [James], if anybody from that organisation called me, I would jump because I feel like I owe it to them and I owe it to my country. If I'm requested to service my country, I'm going to do it.

"Especially just the relationship that I have with those people in that organisation. That's a no-brainer.

"Wearing those three letters across the chest is an honour. You're not representing yourself anymore, you are representing the entire nation and it's a surreal thing."

Drummond was left out of the squads for the 2019 and 2023 World Cups, both of which ended with youthful USA teams returning home without a medal.

The Chicago Bulls center believes it is difficult for younger players to adapt to playing overseas.

Drummond also feels the rise of international stars such as Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo in the NBA exhibits how other countries are improving their national teams, meaning the USA are no longer a dominant force.

"It's a lot different," Drummond explained. "I feel like if you've never played overseas before, and you have never played in front of a hostile crowd, it can become a lot.

"There's a lot that goes into Olympic basketball, and I think nowadays, the international teams have gotten a lot better. If we're all being honest here, I think the players that have come into the NBA have shown that international players are here now. This is their time to showcase themselves.

"So, I don't think any international teams are going to take it lightly on the USA, especially after what we've done to people, year in and year out."

The Milwaukee Bucks' blockbuster trade for star point guard Damian Lillard could give them a "new spark" in what promises to be a thrilling race in the NBA's Eastern Conference this season.

That is the view of Chicago Bulls center Andre Drummond, who also expects another strong showing from the Boston Celtics following their acquisition of former Buck Jrue Holiday.

Milwaukee brought in seven-time All-Star Lillard from the Portland Trail Blazers in arguably the biggest trade of the offseason earlier this month, with the Phoenix Suns also involved in the three-team deal.

Since capturing their second NBA Championship – and first in 50 years – in 2021, the Bucks have endured a frustrating time of things in the postseason, losing in the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2022 before failing to advance beyond the first round last season.

However, the addition of Lillard – who averaged 32.2 points per game in his final year with Portland – has seen Milwaukee touted as genuine contenders to win it all in 2023-24.

The team also agreed a three-year extension with two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo this week, ahead of Thursday's season opener against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Asked about the Bucks' prospects, Drummond told Stats Perform: "I think it'll be interesting, the Bucks acquiring Damien Lillard was a very unique trade for a few reasons because Dame is eager for a championship. 

"I think his mindset now is about being on a contending team alongside one of the best players in the NBA, I think it's going to give them a new spark. 

"I think it will give him a new light to really push hard because I didn't realise, he's a lot older than I am! 

"His window is not as big as mine, so I think he's trying to get it right now and I think that Eastern Conference is going to be tough.

"You've got to pick your poison, when he comes off a pick and roll with Giannis, you're going to trap him and he throws a ball to Giannis, he goes and dunks the ball, or you back up and he shoots the three. I'm looking forward to the matchup and how we plan on defending those guys."

Milwaukee's deal for Lillard involved Holiday being sent to Portland, but the All-Star guard was swiftly traded on to Boston as they look to improve on last season's defeat in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Celtics are expected to be among the Bucks' main rivals in the east this season, and Drummond believes Holiday could even prove an all-round upgrade on modern-day icon Marcus Smart.

"I think that's what Boston was missing actually. Boston was missing a point guard that can do both, defend the ball and score," Drummond said. "I think that's what was missing with Marcus Smart when he was there. 

"He was a great defender, but a very streaky shooter and Drew Holliday is very seasoned, he's been around for a long time and I feel like he just doesn't age. 

"I feel like every time I see him, he looks the same, so whatever he's doing to himself to keep his body right is why he's been around for so long, and he's a trusted point guard."

LeBron James may have lost some explosiveness due to his injury struggles, but Andre Drummond believes the NBA's all-time leading scorer is as good as ever and can excel again this season.

James and the Los Angeles Lakers began their 2023-24 campaign with a defeat on Tuesday, with the Denver Nuggets opening their first-ever NBA title defence with a 119-107 win.

The four-time NBA MVP scored a team-high 21 points while shooting 10-of-16, also adding five assists and eight rebounds, but his limited time on court was the major talking point after the game.

James played just 29 minutes in Los Angeles' 2023-24 opener, with the team looking to manage his workload over the coming weeks after he missed 27 games with a foot injury last season.

With James into his 21st season in the league, Drummond – who played alongside the 38-year-old during a brief spell with the Lakers in 2021 – says his game may have changed, but not necessarily for the worse.

Asked what fans should expect from James this season, Drummond told Stats Perform: "Well, if he's anything like he's been the past couple of years, I guess the same thing.

"He's still averaging 25 points, still playing 30-plus minutes, and it looks like he hasn't slowed down. Well, I feel like he's lost a step, but he's still him, he's still him at the end of the day. 

"He's still the same player, he's still able to be aggressive and get to the basket. 

"Is he dunking over people all the time as he used to? No. But is he playing smarter now? Yeah, I think he's still just as good.

"LeBron James has been special for the NBA from the first day he came in, the amount of things that he's done for the community, not only just for basketball, but for his community and for every city he's been in… you have to respect the guy that does that."

Reflecting on his time as a team-mate of LeBron's, Drummond said the opportunity to see how the four-time NBA Champion prepared for games was invaluable.

"He's somebody I got a chance to play alongside, so to have that opportunity to see his greatness up close is something I didn't take for granted," Drummond said.

"It puts a lot in perspective, because when you see this guy do the things he does in games, you're like, 'I wonder what he does when he's not playing'. 

"I always talk about preparation with guys and his preparation, what he does and how he takes care of his body, how hard he works each and every day, really shows why he's one of the best players to step on this court.

"I just have a lot of respect for him. It was an honour for me to be alongside him and see him be him. I wish we got more time together, but it was definitely excellent playing alongside him.

"I asked him what he does with his body because I'm in year 12 now, and obviously your body starts to break down, you start feeling it more when you get hurt, it lasts a little bit longer. 

"I've been blessed to not be hurt severely. I've had bumps and bruises but nothing crazy. 

"I definitely asked him what he does when he's not playing, how he takes care of his body and some of the things he does to keep himself engaged when he's not on the court."

James is the oldest player in the NBA. The Lakers star will now have his eye on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's record for the highest scoring average managed by the league's oldest player in any season (23.4 points in 1985-86, when Abdul-Jabbar turned 39).

While 30-year-old center Drummond clearly respects James' longevity, he will only continue his own career for as long as he feels able to make a valuable contribution.

"Playing as long as I have now is a blessing," Drummond added.

"I feel like I'm going to play as long as I can, until I just feel like I don't need to anymore, or I'm not as serviceable. 

"I don't want to be someone that isn't playing, I have a family that I would rather hang out with than sit on the bench. I'll play until I'm not playing any more, or I'm not being played any more."

New upcoming NBA star Victor Wembanyama must "remember to be a kid" as expectations grow on the San Antonio Spurs' 19-year-old, who has already been likened to LeBron James.

That was the message from the Chicago Bulls' Andre Drummond, who is well qualified to offer such advice given he has his eyes on a significant milestone of his own.

Drummond is just 37 boards away from reaching 10,000 rebounds in his impressive NBA career, having initially started at the Detroit Pistons with expectations on his shoulders, too.

The Bulls' 30-year-old has been in basketball long enough – and from a similar young age as well – to feel capable of offering advice to the exciting Wembanyama.

The Chicago center told Stats Perform: "For Victor, if I had to give him some advice, I would always tell him to just remember to be a kid.

"I feel like that is something that I didn't take advantage of coming in at 18 years old.

"I feel like I'd stepped into this realm of basketball and like, instantly became a man.

"I had to do everything as a man when I still had my mom and my sister, I still had a family base too, and I think that's the best thing I did do, was bring them out.

"I was so focused on, 'Alright, how do I fit in?' So, I will just tell him to always be himself."

Drummond was rated as the number-one pick of the 2011 class by ESPN after featuring in a gold-medal winning United States team at the Under-17 World Championship.

Having experienced similar pressures in his early career, Drummond sees aspects of his own challenges in Wembanyama.

"Similar to him, I came in and played right away," Drummond added. "I had to figure it out on the fly.

"I was going to a team that was rebuilding and a lot of pressure was on me too, along with him.

"He has a lot of pressure on his back too, because now they're looking at him to be the guy to bring the Spurs back to the calibre that they were.

"For me coming into Detroit, it was like 'well, you have to bring us back to the playoffs, you got to bring us to being a contending team' because all they know in Detroit is winning, they are a blue-collar city.

"So similar stories, different guys. We're all going on the same path at the end of the day, we want to win a championship and we want to be the best we can be."

While likening his experiences to what Wembanyama will face, over a decade on from his NBA introduction Drummond now has milestones in his sights.

"Being 37 away from 10,000 rebounds," he continued, "it puts a lot of perspective for myself and just for the public because I always tell everybody, I feel like I'm the best ever to do it, [regardless of] me having, or about to have 10,000 rebounds.

"I think just my body of work and my percentages and numbers help prove that and honestly, for me it just shows the amount of work I put in.

"Every year I set a goal to be the best rebounder each and every season and to have the honour of reaching 10,000, not too many people have the chance to do that. I am with a group of high-calibre guys."

While delighted to feature in a group that includes the likes of legends Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain, which Drummond labelled as "truly an honour", the Bulls star wants to use his experience to help teammates now.

"For myself this year, it's just, I think it's everything away from basketball, I feel like it's just staying with it, controlling things that I could control," he said.

"Focusing on the things that matter, being a good team-mate, being there for the guys, playing hard each and every time I'm out there.

"In practice, pushing our starters to be better each and every day, being a vocal leader. I feel like that's something that I lacked last year, not using my voice for someone who's been around for 12 years now.

"I feel like I should have spoken more and said a lot more to our younger guys, so I think just being that vet that everybody sees me as I'm really showing it."

A defiant Andre Drummond suggested the Chicago Bulls can utilise an underdog mentality as his side prepare to face a host of "super teams" in the new NBA season.

The Bulls have missed out on the NBA Playoffs in five of the last six seasons, finishing 40-42 in their last campaign and failing to make the eight-seed position in the Eastern Conference.

Chicago's task in the upcoming season will be no easier, although Drummond believes the Bulls can mix with the best as numerous teams assemble impressive rosters.

"I'm looking to beat every team that we play," the 30-year-old center told Stats Perform.

"That's my mindset, but there are definitely some circles on my calendar for teams that I'm looking forward to playing. Phoenix being one of them. Denver, Boston, the Bucks, the Spurs.

"I'm really looking forward to [facing] these teams that are being formed, like these super teams everybody's talking about.

"I love when the underdog team beats them."

While the Bulls once again failed to make the postseason, Drummond took some comfort in seeing his former teammates win the championship with the Denver Nuggets.

"The Nuggets winning almost feels like I won because it's kind of personal for me," he continued.

"Four of my former teammates play for that team – Ish Smith, Reggie Jackson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Bruce Brown – and the fact those guys have done it [makes it feel personal because of] how much work we all put into our games.

"We played for Detroit together, and to see them win it almost felt like I got a piece of that championship to see that success for them."

The Nuggets are tipped as a potential repeat champion, which has happened on just three occasions since 2010, with the talent of Nikola Jokic a key to their success.

In 20 postseason games, Jokic accumulated 600 points, 269 rebounds and 190 assists. Never before in NBA history had a player reached those numbers over a 20-game span.

Jokic also became the first player in NBA history to have 25+ points and 15+ rebounds on 75 per cent shooting in a championship-clinching win after the Game 5 victory over the Miami Heat.

Those record-breaking numbers were no surprise to Drummond, who is preparing to face a new era of NBA stars.

"It is the new age of basketball now with guys like Jokic, Giannis [Antetokounmpo] and the new kid Victor [Wembanyama] who is taking the league by storm right now," he added.

"The game is changing and changes every year, something new happens and it becomes a wave, and everybody wants to follow that trend for that year until the next wave goes on.

"I always say history repeats itself at some point in time, the true center position is going to come back around, which it already kind of has due to everybody getting out-rebounded.

"I just think it's unique man, Jokic is a unique basketball player, the way he sees the floor, he thinks like a guard and plays like a guard, but is 6'11 and almost 300 pounds.

"He's just a really smart, a great decision maker, great basketball player overall and he's very, very fun to watch and play against."

Having started with the Detroit Pistons in 2012, Drummond believes the game has changed – and will continue to evolve – albeit perhaps not for the better.

He said: "I've been a part of a lot of good basketball, and to like where it is now, where it's a little bit softer, you can't touch anybody and everybody is free flowing.

"Everybody's there for the show instead of the game of basketball, I feel like it's a lot easier now because you can't touch anybody, so it makes the game a lot easier for both the offense and defense."

Andre Drummond accepts the legacy of Michael Jordan's legendary exploits with the Chicago Bulls puts additional pressure on the team.

However, ahead of the new NBA season, the two-time All-Star center is relishing being part of the Bulls' attempts to recapture their former glories, saying he and his team-mates have a unique standard to uphold.

All six of Chicago's NBA championships were captured with the help of Hall of Famer Jordan, who helped popularise the league on a global scale by leading the team to two three-peats, the first coming between 1991 and 1993 and the second between 1996 and 1998.

While Jordan helped make the Bulls one of the NBA's most iconic franchises, they have struggled to hit anything close to those heights in recent years.

Chicago has missed the playoffs in five of the last six years, failing to build on an encouraging 2021-22 campaign. Last season they were beaten by the Miami Heat in April's play-in tournament.

With the Bulls hoping to fare better when the new season tips off this week, Drummond needs no reminder of their illustrious history.

"Michael Jordan's name is known everywhere," he told Stats Perform. "No matter where you go, no matter what country you go to, if you say the name Michael Jordan, someone knows who he is.

"You can say the same thing for LeBron [James] too. I feel like LeBron is up there now with one of the most notable people in the world.

"But Michael Jordan, his name rings bells. Not only as a basketball player but just how he was as a person. He has brought a lot of hope to this city, he brought a lot of championships here, and he's brought in a lot of money here, too."

Asked whether Jordan's achievements put a unique level of pressure on Chicago, Drummond said: "I've only been here a year and a half, so I don't really understand the gravity of how much it means. 

"But I feel like this year, I'll feel it more because I have my feet wet, being here and seeing the fanbase and how they really love Chicago basketball.

"Whether we are good or not, they are still coming out every night, so it is starting to set in a little bit.

"As I look around the arena, I'm like, 'some great players have stepped on this floor, man'.

"I feel like you have a standard to uphold as a Chicago Bull, and I feel like that's the pride that we need to walk with.

"Chicago Bulls are one of the most celebrated teams in the world. You go around the country and see people wearing the Bulls attire. 

"You may see some Lakers, you may see some Knicks or Boston maybe, but the Bulls, everybody loves the Bulls. I don't know what it is or why it's like that, I don't know what it is. 

"Even as a kid, I would see people all the way in Connecticut wearing Chicago Bulls gear, and they've never been to Chicago in their life. Everybody just loves the Bulls! 

"I think it's just a very celebrated team and a celebrated city and you have to uphold that standard."

The Bulls begin their 2023-24 campaign with back-to-back home games, facing the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday before the Toronto Raptors visit United Center on Friday.

The Philadelphia 76ers' wantaway guard James Harden is just "looking to find happiness" after requesting a trade and engaging in a bitter war of words with Sixers president Daryl Morey.

That is the view of Chicago Bulls center and former Sixer Andre Drummond, who hopes Harden joins a team where he feels wanted. 

Former MVP Harden requested a trade after exercising his player option for the 2023-24 season in June, the third time he has asked for a move since leaving the Houston Rockets in January 2021.

Having grown frustrated with Morey's handling of his contract situation during the offseason, Harden labelled the Sixers president a "liar" in August, declaring: "I will never be a part of an organization that he's a part of".

Harden reportedly expected to be offered a long-term deal after Philadelphia were beaten by the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals last season. 

He has since skipped practice on two occasions as the Sixers work towards their NBA season opener, which comes on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday.

While some have criticised Harden's conduct, Drummond, who joined the Brooklyn Nets as part of the trade which took Harden to Philadelphia last year, has sympathy for his position.

"I don't really get into the whole gossip aspect of the NBA," Drummond told Stats Perform. "I mean, with James, it's not his first time doing this.

"I think he's just going to try to find a way to make sure that he's happy and he goes into the best situation. I don't really have much else I can say on that.

"He's just looking to find happiness, so hopefully he gets to go where he wants to."

The Sixers' hopes for 2023-24 will be carried by reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid, who recently announced his intention to represent the United States at next year's Olympic Games in France. 

Embiid averaged a career-high 33.1 points to lead the NBA last season, but the 29-year-old is yet to win a championship.

Drummond, who played alongside Embiid while with the Sixers in 2021-22, believes Philadelphia need to give the center a championship-winning team sooner rather than later.

Asked about Philadelphia's title hopes, Drummond said: "I think for Joel, they have to do it now. Now's the time.

"They've waited a long time, a lot of pieces have been added to their team that maybe aren't working out. 

"I hope he does it. I hope he doesn't win against us, but I hope for the best for him. I really want him to win. I've got to play alongside him for a year and he deserves it. He works really hard."

The Chicago Bulls have "unfinished business" after missing out on the NBA Playoffs in five of the last six seasons, according to Andre Drummond.

The Bulls were expected to improve on a promising 2021-22 term this time last year, but they finished 40-42 for the regular season before missing out on the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Chicago were beaten by the Miami Heat in April's play-in tournament, bringing a premature end to an inconsistent campaign in which they never once posted a four-game winning streak.

Their woes were compounded by seeing guard Lonzo Ball sit out the entire season with a knee injury which has now required multiple surgeries. Having last taken to the court in January 2022, Ball will also miss the 2023-24 campaign after being forced to undergo a cartilage transplant.

Despite Ball's absence, Drummond believes Chicago can look forward to a more positive time of things this season, having kept a familiar core intact. 

"It's definitely been one of my better offseasons, I feel like I got a lot done," Drummond told Stats Perform. "I got some good insight into what is expected of me, so that's what I worked on this summer.

"With the Bulls I feel like we have some unfinished business, which is one of the reasons why I ended up coming back here to Chicago, picking up my player option. 

"We started off really good at the beginning of last year, and I feel like we let a lot of things slip, some due to injuries and some due to just not really having any real chemistry yet.

"Losing Lonzo, a lot of our decision-making has been spread out throughout our team, for guys that aren't used to doing it.

"I think with a year under our belts now, we know how each other play and we know each other a little bit better, we will be able to really build that chemistry."

In June, two-time All Star Drummond exercised his $3.36million option to remain with the Bulls, who open their season at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday.

He will again be teaming up with Nikola Vucevic, who signed a three-year, $60m contract extension with Chicago in June, and Drummond is enjoying working with his fellow center.

"The relationship I have with Vuch is unique because he's somebody I've battled against for almost a decade, just playing against this guy year in, year out," Drummond said.

"Then being team-mates with him now and just seeing him on a day-to-day basis, I just really formed a new respect for him, watching how hard he works and how he prepares for each and every game. 

"Being here with him has been a lot of fun. We have two different games, which is why our games work together on the same team. 

"He's more of the outside shooter and I'm more of the brute force down low that gets all the rebounds and does all the dirty work, so our games clash very well."

Vucevic averaged 17.6 points, 11 rebounds and 3.2 assists while playing in all 82 games throughout 2022-23, also shooting 52 per cent from the field, his highest rate since 2014-15.

Kevin Durant was satisfied with his night's work after recording 41 points as the Brooklyn Nets eventually overcame a spirited Detroit Pistons on Tuesday at Barclays Center.

The Nets moved to 40-36 following the win, and sit in eight place in the Eastern Conference, while the Pistons have the joint-worst record in the east (20-56, along with the Orlando Magic).

Kyrie Irving added 24 in only his second home appearance of the season following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions on unvaccinated athletes in New York.

Durant was the star of the show, though, also managing 11 rebounds and five assists, while sinking four of six attempts from beyond the arc.

"I want to get better shots sometimes, but like a couple of them are like, 'I'm hot, let me risk it,'" Durant said after the win.

"I was just trying to get the best shots that I can. Sometimes it might be over a guy in the lane, but I feel like that’s open and I have to keep knocking them down."

The Nets had been 12 points behind at one point, but were able to turn things around to eventually secure victory, and Durant was quick to praise Detroit despite their undesirable record. 

"I know their record isn’t good, but they still have pros over there," he added. "They still made shots early and gained confidence as a team. This was a good test for us."

Andre Drummond put up 14 points and 13 rebounds, and expressed his belief that Brooklyn will need to be better against stronger opponents, with the playoffs not far away and the Nets hoping to sneak in.

"We can't hang our hat on the second half, we have to play a complete game," Drummond said.

"It's never going to be easy to make that turn against great teams. Not that the Pistons aren't a great team. They played a great game, but we just turned it up in the second half."

Seth Curry's 23-point arrival helped the Brooklyn Nets snap their 11-game skid in a 109-85 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Monday.

Curry landed four three-pointers with seven rebounds and five assists while fellow debutant Andre Drummond added 11 points, with Ben Simmons still out despite being present for the pre-game shootaround.

The Nets led from start to finish but were propelled by a 54-37 second half with LaMarcus Aldridge scoring 19 points with eight rebounds off the bench.

Bruce Brown had season-high returns with 19 points, six assists and five steals for the new-look Nets who improved to 30-27.

De'Andre Fox had a game-high 26 points for the Kings who were limited to 34.4 per cent shooting (31-of-90) overall.


Steph stars but Warriors lose

Stephen Curry made eight three-pointers in a 33-point haul but it was not enough to get the Golden State Warriors past the Los Angeles Clippers who won 119-104. Terance Mann scored 25 points with seven rebounds and six assists for the triumphant Clippers.

Julius Randle had a triple-double with 30 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists but he was overshadowed by Rookie of the Year contender Josh Giddey as the Oklahoma City Thunder won 127-123 in overtime. Giddey also had a triple-double with 28 points including three triples along with 11 rebounds and 12 assists.

Reigning MVP Nikola Jokic starred with 26 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists as the Denver Nuggets brushed aside the Orlando Magic 121-111, while Donovan Mitchell had 30 points with six rebounds and seven assists in the Utah Jazz's 135-101 victory over the Houston Rockets.


Middleton loses radar as Bucks go down

Khris Middleton almost had a triple-double but shot poorly, going three-of-15 from the field and one-of-eight from beyond the arc as the Milwaukee Bucks went down 122-107 to the Portland Trail Blazers. Anfernee Simons scored 31 points for the Blazers, while Middleton had 16 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists as the Bucks lost in Giannis Antetokounmpo's absence due to a sore ankle.

The Philadelphia 76ers solved their Ben Simmons conundrum with a blockbuster trade for James Harden of the Brooklyn Nets before the NBA trade deadline passed on Thursday. 

Simmons has refused to play for the Sixers this season after coach Doc Rivers and center Joel Embiid were critical of his performances in the Eastern Conference semifinals loss to the Atlanta Hawks last season. 

Philadelphia had been trying to trade the fifth-year guard/forward ever since, but the former Rookie of the Year's value plummeted after he came up short against the Hawks. 

However, according to multiple reports a deal was finally struck to send Simmons to Brooklyn in exchange for the 2018 NBA MVP Harden. Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, an unprotected 2022 first-round pick and a protected 2027 first-round pick were also sent to the Nets, with Paul Millsap going in the opposite direction. 

Harden can become a free agent in the offseason, while Simmons is under contract until 2025 after signing a five-year, $177.2million deal in 2019.

While the 76ers seemingly boosted their chances of contending by adding Harden, the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors remained idle. However, there were still plenty of other deals reported on Thursday.


Mavericks move on from Porzingis

The Luka Doncic-Kristaps Porzingis era is over in Dallas.

The Mavs sent Porzingis and a second-round pick to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans.

Injuries have continued to trouble the 7ft 3in center, who averaged 20 points and 8.8 rebounds per game in two and a half seasons in Dallas.

Kings trade Bagley, Bucks get Ibaka 

The Sacramento Kings made Marvin Bagley III the second overall pick in the 2018 draft but brought an end to his time in California as part of a seven-player, four-team trade. 

Bagley was sent to the Detroit Pistons, with Josh Jackson and Trey Lyles going to Sacramento. The Kings also received Donte DiVincenzo from the Milwaukee Bucks, who swapped Serge Ibaka for Semi Ojeleye and Rodney Hood. The reigning NBA champions also received two future second-round picks and cash considerations. 

Bagley has started just 17 games for Sacramento this season, averaging 9.3 points and 7.2 rebounds in 21.9 minutes per game.

Celtics bring Theis back, send Schroder to Houston

Daniel Theis is back for a second spell with the Boston Celtics.

Less than a year after he was traded to the Chicago Bulls by the Celtics, Theis was brought back from the Houston Rockets in exchange for Dennis Schroder, Enes Freedom and Bruno Fernando. Freedom is expected to be waived by the Rockets, though.

Boston also sent Bol Bol and PJ Dozier, who are both out for the season, to the Orlando Magic and offloaded Josh Richardson and Romeo Langford to the San Antonio Spurs. The Celtics' brought in Derrick White.


Goran Dragic's time with the Toronto Raptors is up after he was traded to the Spurs for Thaddeus Young, Drew Eubanks – whom they were set to waive – and a 2022 lottery-protected first-round pick. Dragic is expected to be bought out, with the Chicago Bulls, Mavs, Bucks, Warriors, Nets and Clippers all credited with an interest.

The Charlotte Hornets added Montrezl Harrel from the Wizards. Ish Smith and Vernon Carey Jr went the other way. 

Torrey Craig is back with the Phoenix Suns following a deal that saw Jalen Smith land with the Indiana Pacers. Aaron Holiday was also acquired from the Wizards.

James Harden is leaving the Brooklyn Nets to join the Philadelphia 76ers, according to reports.

The teams have agreed a trade that will see Harden move to Philadelphia, while Ben Simmons, Seth Curry and Andre Drummond head the other way, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said.

The deal reportedly also includes the Sixers sending the Nets an unprotected 2022 first-round pick as well as a protected 2027 first-round pick. The Nets will also include Paul Millsap in the deal.

Simmons was the subject of trade rumours in January 2021 when the Sixers pursued Harden from the Houston Rockets. Harden instead headed for the Nets, and Simmons saw out the season in Philadelphia, only for speculation to ramp up again after a deeply dissatisfying playoff exit.

Simmons has not played since June when Joel Embiid and Doc Rivers appeared to blame the former first overall pick for a Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

The 25-year-old Simmons averaged 14.3 points per game last season from his 58 appearances, plus 7.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists.

Harden, 32, has failed to settle in Brooklyn since arriving from Houston last January, averaging just 22.5 points per game this season, his lowest average since the 2011-12 season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, as well as 8.0 rebounds and 10.2 assists.

Curry has been enjoying the best season of his career in Philadelphia, averaging 15.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game, while Drummond has managed just 6.1 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game, the worst return of his career.

James Harden is leaving the Brooklyn Nets to join the Philadelphia 76ers, according to reports.

The teams have agreed a trade that will see Harden move to Philadelphia, while Ben Simmons, Seth Curry and Andre Drummond head the other way, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said.

The deal reportedly also includes the Sixers sending the Nets an unprotected 2022 first-round pick as well as a protected 2027 first-round pick. The Nets will also include Paul Millsap in the deal.

Simmons was the subject of trade rumours in January 2021 when the Sixers pursued Harden from the Houston Rockets. Harden instead headed for the Nets, and Simmons saw out the season in Philadelphia, only for speculation to ramp up again after a deeply dissatisfying playoff exit.

Simmons has not played since June when Joel Embiid and Doc Rivers appeared to blame the former first overall pick for a Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

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