Kevin Durant has requested a trade from the brooklyn nets on June 30 just hours before free agency opens. As the NBA’s offseason draws to a close, Durant remains on the Nets with no serious momentum toward a deal.
Durant reiterated his desire to be traded to Nets Governor Joe Tsai during a meeting in August. KD reportedly told Tsai to choose between him and the Brooklyn braintrust of Steve Nash and Sean Marks. Durant’s ultimatum didn’t speed up trade talks as he expected, and at this point it’s certainly possible the Nets will try to bring him back when training camps open around the league. September 26.
When Durant first asked to leave Brooklyn, the widespread assumption was that there would be a massive bidding war to get him, which could lead to the biggest trade package in NBA history. This does not happen. With Durant locked into a new four-year, $196 million contract extension that begins this season, his age (he’ll be 34 to start the season), his injury history and his massive cap count are only a few reasons why teams are in heaven. ‘t been willing to offer their best packages at this point.
The Nets hope to bring KD back for next season and believe he can lead a team that competes for a championship alongside Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons, Nic Claxton and new additions like TJ Warren and Royce O’Neale. Whether Durant will accept that – or try some other accelerating tactic like holding on, remains to be seen.
As reports on Durant’s negotiations continue, it’s clear the Nets won’t get the return they’re looking for if they trade Durant. Here is what has been reported so far:
Grizzlies won’t include Desmond Bane or Jaren Jackson Jr. in Kevin Durant trade packages
The Grizzlies are the latest team to show an interest in Kevin Durant, according to The Athletic, but not if it’s going to cost them one of their key players. Reporting Memphis’ interest in Durant, Shams Charania noted:
The Grizzlies won’t include Jackson or Bane in a potential offer for Durant, sources said, but rather a package built around their slew of draft picks.
Pelicans don’t want to include Brandon Ingram in Kevin Durant’s trade packages
Forget Zion Williamson traded for Durant – the Pelicans won’t even give up Brandon Ingram. By Christian Clark of NOLA.com:
If Durant is moved, the New Orleans Pelicans could be players in the draw, but that would likely force them to drop Brandon Ingram. League sources say the Pelicans don’t want to do it.
Raptors won’t include Scottie Barnes in Kevin Durant trade talks
Toronto could likely land Durant if they offered reigning rookie of the year Scottie Barnes, but the Raptors have argued Barnes isn’t on the table. Charania confirmed this on Monday, writing “the Raptors have refused to release rookie of the year Scottie Barnes.”
The Celtics won’t include Marcus Smart in Kevin Durant trade offer
Boston reportedly offered Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and a first-round pick to Brooklyn for Durant. Brooklyn reportedly asked for Marcus Smart, more picks and another rotation player.
Heat can’t offer Bam Adebayo for Durant unless Nets move Ben Simmons
It’s because of the designated recruit rule which states that teams cannot acquire two players on five-year extensions after their rookie contracts via trade.
Suns reportedly didn’t want to include all of their draft picks for Kevin Durant
Durant wanted to play for the Suns, but a deal got more complicated once Deandre Ayton re-signed from Phoenix. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst initially reported that the Suns were unwilling to include every draft pick and pick trade they have to land KD.
Interesting clip from Get Up this morning. They discussed an exchange project of:
The Suns receive: Kevin Durant
Nets receive: Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Dario Saric, 4 firsts, 3 swaps
Brian Windhorst says he doesn’t think the Suns offer that yet. pic.twitter.com/ZF6N5yGyMY
—James (@blbuckets3) July 8, 2022
The Hawks are the last team to switch the Nets for Durant
Per Shams: “Also in the past month, the Atlanta Hawks have offered John Collins, De’Andre Hunter and a draft pick for Durant, sources say.”
Atlanta has already traded three first-round picks to land Dejounte Murray this offseason. No, Collins, Hunter, and a Pick don’t.
Why isn’t Kevin Durant traded yet? Because the teams refuse to offer their best package for several reasons.
The main reason the trade market is cool on Durant is because of his age and injury history. He’s about to turn 34 and has played just 90 games in the past two years after recovering from a torn Achilles sustained in the 2019 NBA Finals.
Another reason why teams are afraid to put their best assets on the table is Durant’s general dissatisfaction in recent years. Premier Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder after drafting him and turning him into a league MVP. KD picked the Warriors in free agency, won two championships at Golden State and still looked generally miserable as fans accused him of taking the easy route to the rings. Now he’s angry with Brooklyn after the organization refused to lock Kyrie Irving up on a long-term deal. If Durant can ask out of Brooklyn with four years left on his contract, why won’t he ask out of his next situation?
Then there’s the matter of desperation: With a relatively open title picture, none of Durant’s contenders like them need to go all-in for a championship right now. The Celtics will be a top-five favorite to win it all, even if they don’t trade for Durant. Toronto, New Orleans and Memphis have drafted and developed young cores that should be able to compete for a long time. I think Phoenix should be all-in on Durant, but they apparently don’t feel the same pressure to win a title right away.
Ultimately, Brooklyn may have to trade Durant if he’s really unhappy. If so, it’s possible that one of these teams – Boston, Toronto and Miami being the favorites – could get KD without giving up even their second- and third-best players.
The ball is really in Durant’s court now. The Nets aren’t going to give him away for a package they find unsatisfactory. Brooklyn wants to bring KD and Kyrie back for next year and see what happens. Durant’s only decision may be to hold on like Ben Simmons did last year in hopes of forcing a trade.
Is it possible the Celtics can eventually land Durant without giving up Smart or Robert Williams? Is it possible the Raptors could get him while keeping Barnes? The hope of Durant’s suitors is that the Nets ultimately feel compelled to make a KD trade and must choose from a group of disappointing offers.
The Durant business saga continues to linger. At this point, don’t expect it to end anytime soon.