For those who may be tardy to the party, Kevin Durant made a trade request to the Brooklyn Nets during the offseason after being swept out of the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics. The Nets agreed to grant Durant his trade request but were stern in not pulling the trigger on a blockbuster deal unless the return they received for their franchise player was substantial. Negotiations for the 12-time All-Star lasted for the bulk of the summer, but ultimately Durant decided to return to the Nets.
KD agreed to return to the Nets this season, hoping things would be better in Brooklyn this time. But the reality is that they might actually be worse. Steve Nash was fired earlier this month, Kyrie is suspended with no return date in sight, and Ben Simmons has struggled to start the season.
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Trade Proposal Sends Kevin Durant to Blazers
This isn’t the vision Durant had for the Nets when he inked a 4-year, $198 million extension in 2021. He has given them everything you could ask of a franchise player, but still, the Nets have been an abject failure this season. And with Irving seemingly already with one foot out the door, the best option may be for Brooklyn to cut their losses and build the whole thing up from scratch (again).
Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report suggests a trade where the Nets send Durant to the third-seeded Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for a huge haul. Full details below:
Portland Trail Blazers Receive:
F Kevin Durant,
SG Seth Curry
Brooklyn Nets Receive:
G Anfernee Simons
F Jerami Grant
G/F Josh Hart
2025, 2027, and 2029 unprotected first-round picks
2027, 2028, and 2029 second-round picks
“As of right now, it looks like the Nets aren’t going anywhere, even with Durant, whose trade value will only decrease now that he’s in his mid-30s. Getting a package of players in return to stay competitive is important, as is recouping draft picks the franchise had to give up in the James Harden trade,” Swartz writes.
“Picking up six total draft picks, including three unprotected future firsts, would give the Nets some valuable trade assets to further improve their post-Durant roster.”
Nets Could Revisit Durant’s Trade Demand Down the Line
It has been three years since the Nets kicked off the Durant, Kyrie era, and they have not enjoyed much success since their arrival.
Cutting ties with Durant would be beneficial for both parties. Durant, who is quickly approaching the back end of his career, gets to join a contender, and the Nets get another chance to build from scratch. One NBA executive told Heavy’s Sean Deveney that the Nets revisiting their franchise player’s trade demand isn’t fully off the table.
“I’m not sure he ever really pulled back on the trade demand. They’re not really shopping him, but I’d say they left it open-ended with him, like, let us see if we can pull things together, and if not, we’ll revisit the whole thing with more time to do it,” the executive said to Heavy Sports.
“That might mean in the spring, before the draft. That might mean at the deadline, though I doubt they’re going to want to force something through like that. But the sense is he will be available sooner or later. Phoenix is still probably the team to watch. Don’t forget, they can trade (Deandre) Ayton after January 15, and that might be the trigger for this whole thing to come back on the table.”
It will be interesting to see how the Nets proceed with the season.