Reports: Nets are trying to arrange a trade for Kevin Durant, who has requested a move
Kevin Durant, a superstar for the Brooklyn Nets, has reportedly asked to be traded, per his agent Rich Kleiman. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Nets GM Sean Marks is coordinating a trade including Kevin Durant and Kleiman. It has been claimed that the Phoenix Suns and the Miami Heat are Durant’s top two destinations of choice, but competition to sign the 12-time All-Star is expected to be fierce. As there is no no-trade provision in Durant’s deal, Brooklyn may shop him to whoever offers the most.
This comes after rumours suggested that Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were uncertain about their futures in Brooklyn. There were rumblings that Durant might want out of Brooklyn after word got out that Irving would not want to be there anymore if the organisation did not grant him a long-term agreement. Nonetheless, Irving just exercised his $37 million player option for next season, signalling both he and Durant will remain with the Nets through at least the 2022-23 campaign.
However, Wojnarowski claims that once Irving exercised his player option, he and Durant did not communicate with the Nets’ front office, signalling that Durant will seek a trade at some point.
A Nets squad that was favoured to win the NBA Finals only one year ago has had a wild ride. However, those hopes were dashed by a series of unfortunate events, including an MCL injury to Durant, an unvaccinated Kyrie Irving, and a trade request from James Harden that netted the Nets Ben Simmons from the 76ers. The outcome was a first-round playoff sweep by the Boston Celtics, who had Durant and Irving back to full strength. There is speculation that Durant wants out of the Nets because of the constant turmoil that has plagued the organisation since he came in 2019.
The first year of Durant’s four-year, $198 million contract deal, which he signed last summer, does not begin until the 2022-23 season. Therefore, it would take a large offer from a rival team to lure him away. The start of free agency, though, means that other teams will begin phoning the Nets in an attempt to trade for Durant.
The Nets find themselves in a difficult position, considering they formerly boasted the league’s most potent starting lineup with Durant, Irving, and Harden all on the same roster. Their championship run was derailed by issues like injuries and vaccinations, so all that brilliance was never fully realised.
The Nets may be able to get multiple first-round selections and a promising young player to develop around if they trade for Durant. Now that Irving has exercised his player option, they have more trading chips to deal with and may pursue other options.
The Durant news has made the NBA trade deadline that much more exciting, as every team will now want to make a move to acquire one of the league’s top players.