Kevin Durant left the NBA shell-shocked when he made his trade request to the Brooklyn Nets on June 30. After he signed a 4-year $198 million extension to remain with the Nets in 2021 most perceived him to be satisfied with the future of the team despite an early playoff exit.
Despite the Nets star requesting a trade out of Brooklyn, he is still on the roster with training camp drawing near. And as trade talks have seemingly hit a standstill Durant met with Nets owner Joe Tsai to offer him a strong ultimatum regarding his future with the franchise — either general manager Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash goes, or he wants a trade per Shams Charania of “The Athletic”.
“In a face-to-face meeting with Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai over the weekend, All-NBA star Kevin Durant reiterated his trade request and informed Tsai that he needs to choose between Durant or the pairing of general manager Sean Marks and coach Steve Nash, sources tell The Athletic. Durant stated he does not have faith in the team’s direction, sources said,” Charania writes.
“Durant and Tsai spoke in London on Saturday and sources described the discussion as transparent and professional. The meeting took place a year to the day that Durant agreed to a four-year, $198 million contract extension with the Nets and barely over a month after his initial trade request on June 30. He is now entering the first season of that extension.”
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Steve Nash, Sean Marks Considered Packaged Deal
After a disappointing second-round exit in 2021, many thought the Nets would come into this season on a warpath to win the title. But unfortunately, their season ended in a first-round sweep at the hands of the Boston Celtics.
After two seasons and two early exits, Nash is under a microscope in Brooklyn. But the Nets face a grim ultimatum when it comes to his future. Brandon “Scoop B’ Robinson of Bally Sports, says the Nets parting ways with their current head coach would also mean losing their general manager Sean Marks, who has been the catalyst of their rise back to the top.
“I think that in this situation, Steve Nash and Sean Marks are packaged deals, and so you can’t have one way or the other,” Robinson said on Sirius XM Radio with Rick Kamla and Antonio Daniels.
Nets Believe They Have Team That Can Contend
A tumultuous season where James Harden was moved to the Philadelphia 76ers at the trade deadline and the fact that Kyrie Irving was not offered an extension heading into the final year of his deal caused Durant to have a change of heart about his future. But amid all of the turmoil the team has gone through, the Nets have made key free agency pickups in TJ Warren and Royce O’Neal and believe that right now they are ready to compete for a title.
“This summer, the Nets believe they have improved the roster and have a championship-ready team. The Nets traded for Royce O’Neale, signed T.J. Warren, and brought back Patty Mills and Nic Claxton while awaiting the full returns of three-time All-Star Ben Simmons and Joe Harris,” Charania added.
“Brooklyn’s front office, led by Marks, has set a high price on the Durant market while constructing a team that gives the organization confidence in its ability to contend should the team bring the roster, as is, into training camp.
The Nets are incredibly high on Simmons’ return to play following his recovery from back surgery in May, viewing him as a perfect complement around Durant and Irving.”
The Nets and Durant are still at odds over his trade request. It will be interesting to see who they choose to keep.