Nets Star Could Retire if Trade Request Isn’t Granted, Says Exec

Andre Drummond, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving

Getty Andre Drummond, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant made his trade request to the Brooklyn Nets on June 30, and so far, there has been minimal traction on a deal getting done. The Nets initially agreed to grant the superstar’s trade request but were stern about not taking the first offer they received. Nets owner Joe Tsai and general manager Sean Marks have been adamant about getting fairly compensated in a potential blockbuster trade for their franchise player.

The Nets have had preliminary conversations with rival teams about a deal for Durant, but it has not gone much further than that. And as the NBA offseason is all but over and teams begin to eye the start of training camp, he remains on Brooklyn’s roster. But Durant’s presence on the Nets’ roster does not mean that he will report to training camp when it opens in September.

NBA Insider Marc Stein, previously of the New York Times, says that Durant is willing to take drastic measures to ensure the Nets grant his trade request, even if that means retirement.

“During summer league in Las Vegas, one of the most well-connected team executives I speak to regularly insisted to me that, based on what he was hearing, Kevin Durant was more apt to retire than play again for the Brooklyn Nets. This was in early July,” Stein wrote via his Substack account.

“I told the tipster that I simply couldn’t believe that. I was a loyal subscriber to the theory that Durant The Hooper loves playing basketball way too much to adopt such a stance.

Now? More than a month later? Attaching the R-word to Durant still comes across as serious hyperbole, but it is certainly getting easier to envision him refusing to report to training camp when the Nets get back together in six weeks for Media Day (Sept. 26) and their first practices of the new season (Sept. 27).”

The latest Nets news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Nets newsletter here!

Join Heavy on Nets!

Durant Could Cause ‘Ruckus’ if Trade Demand Isn’t Met

Durant and the Nets have battled internally about how to finally execute a trade that would get the 12-time All-Star out of Brooklyn. But trade talks have been slow because Durant wants to go to a team ready to contend for a title now. And for the Nets’ asking price, that is not likely to happen.

Any team that is serious about landing Durant would have to send Brooklyn a king’s ransom of a trade package, which essentially would dismember their roster.

As the date for the opening of training camp grows closer, Stein says that if his trade request is not granted by then, Durant will be ready to cause a ‘ruckus’ to ensure he gets what he wants.

“If Durant hasn’t been traded by [training camp], there is a growing expectation in league circles that he will continue trying to cause as much of a ruckus behind the scenes to try to prod the Nets into lowering their asking price at last to facilitate a deal,” Stein adds.

“If it wasn’t apparent by now, he really wants that trade to Phoenix or Miami or maybe even Boston or Philadelphia, no matter what it does to his reputation when he hasn’t played a single game yet under the four-year, $194 million contract extension signed in August 2021.”

Durant and the Nets Still at Odds

The Nets have been generous in granting Durant’s trade request within reason. And the truth is that they are well within their right to make sure they get as much as they can in a deal for Durant. The team thought they had a long-time commitment from the All-NBA forward when he signed his extension last summer, and there is a high possibility that he never plays a game for the Nets under that extension.

The Nets front office has sided with the players through most of the Durant, Kyrie Irving era. They allowed Irving to play unvaccinated last season, they have put the requested players around their stars, and still, the Nets have not made it out of the second round with KD and Kyrie.

The entire Nets offseason saga has been about power and leverage and with Durant still inked to the Nets long-term, Brooklyn holds all the cards in a potential blockbuster trade for Durant. Their decision to play hardball with him and his trade request could mean the NBA losing one of its best players.

 READ NEXT: Key Update Emerges on Kevin Durant Trade Request From Nets

Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments