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The championship title has proven elusive for James Harden so far in his career
  1. NBA

NBA: Durant bullish on championship chances

Kevin Durant is convinced Brooklyn Nets still have a team capable of challenging for the championship despite James Harden's exit for Philadelphia 76ers.

The Nets are 17/4 to win the NBA Championship outright, while the Sixers can be backed at 7/1.

Brooklyn sent Harden to Philadelphia on the NBA trade deadline day along with Paul Milsap and in return the Nets received Ben Simmons, Andre Drummond and Seth Curry and two future first-round Draft picks.

Simmons hasn't played this season after requesting a trade at Philadelphia during the summer and it remains unclear when he will be able to make his Brooklyn debut.

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Durant remains confident there is still enough quality within the Brooklyn squad to challenge for the top prize, although he accepts it may take time for their new-look squad to gel and at this stage is unsure if a championship bid this season is realistic.

When asked if he believed the Nets could still win a title this season, Durant told abc News: "I never really look at the year like that to be honest. I mean, we got talent in the room. A lot of teams got talent and winning a championship is obviously the goal."

Proper steps required

"But there's proper steps we've got to go through in order for us to get there. And things have been on pause for a bit, with injury, and now we've got to incorporate Ben and now get our team back together.

"So before I even think about the championship, I'm just trying to get us all on the floor to get some reps in. That's the most important thing."

Durant firm in Irving support

There has been speculation that one of the reasons Harden decided to push for a move away from Brooklyn was due to a fall out with Kyrie Irving, who can only play in road games, but Durant played down those rumours.

He added: "Kyrie has always been an easy scapegoat for everybody, especially for the media and the fans, they love to use him as a scapegoat for a lot of problems.

"So it's easy to blame him, but I can't speculate on how James is feeling. I know a lot of the media will put that on him."

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