Kevin Durant has officially requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets after a 2022 season filled with turmoil. Durant, one of the most decorated superstars in NBA History, will command a substantial trade package, especially because the Nets had plans for him to be their franchise player for the future. They affirmed that last summer by inking him to a 4-year $198 million max extension.
NBA insider Marc Stein says the Nets have taken a strong stance on potential trades for their franchise star. The Nets won’t entertain any trade conversations for Durant unless a ‘blue chipper’ is involved.
“The Nets, as we’ve been saying, don’t have to proceed as fast as the basketball world wants — not with Durant under contract for the next four seasons,” Stein said per his Substack account.
“Brooklyn privately maintains that it won’t trade Durant unless it gets a package in return that starts with a blue-chipper like New Orleans’ Brandon Ingram or Toronto’s Scottie Barnes … along with lots more attached to a theoretical deal than the absolute hauls San Antonio and Utah received in exchange for Murray and Gobert.”
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Nets Not Moved by Offers They’ve Received for Durant
The Utah Jazz trading Rudy Gobert appears to have had a ripple effect throughout the NBA. The Minnesota Timberwolves sending a gargantuan amount of first-round picks to Utah has indeed gauged the asking price for Durant in potential trades.
Gobert, a 3-time defensive player of the year, is a star in his own right. But with all due respect Durant is a much better player, and thus the trade packages for KD will have to be substantially better than they were for Gobert. NBA insider Brian Windhorst says that the offers the Nets have received for their franchise star have been underwhelming.
“There are a couple of things that happened that made even more complicated. It involved the Utah Jazz. The Jazz make this trade with Rudy Gobert last week and get an incredible haul of draft picks. The Nets responded by saying, ‘now, the price for Durant just went higher’ and the rest of the league is saying, ‘We don’t think so. We didn’t like that price, we didn’t like that trade,” Windhorst said during a recent appearance on “NBA Today”.
“From what I understand, I don’t think the Nets are thrilled with the offers they have gotten for Durant yet. I don’t think that that’s a hot take considering that they’re reassessing with where they’re at. I think the reason is this: It’s somewhat known in the NBA that Durant prefers going to the Phoenix Suns and the Suns offer, what they have to offer right now just isn’t that interesting to Brooklyn. Brooklyn is interested in other things.”
Nets Holding Out Hope for a Reconciliation
The Nets have remained firm in their stance that they will not move Durant unless they receive a trade offer that suits them moving a player of his caliber. And with Brooklyn having him inked for the next four seasons, they are not obligated to honor his trade request.
Amid the drama, the Nets have continued to build their roster with the additions of TJ Warren and Edmund Sumner. NBA Insider Shams Charania says that the Nets front office is still holding on to an inkling of hope that Durant will change his mind. Thus they are moving forward as if he and Kyrie Irving will be on the roster next season.
“From everything I’m told, that stance has not changed. There’s no signal that he’s going to back off that. If anything, that stance is expected to continue throughout this off-season in terms of wanting a trade out of Brooklyn,” Shams said during an appearance on the “Pat McAfee Show”.
“But on the other hand, the Nets pick up T.J. Warren today. They’re making moves and doing things this off-season that in their mind is in preparation and operation as if they’re bringing these two guys back next season and playing with these two guys.”
If the Nets can get Kyrie and Durant to return, on paper, they have a pretty decent roster. It will be interesting to see if the two sides can reconcile their differences.