NBA GM Believes Nets Superstar Will be Traded at the Trade Deadline

Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and Seth Curry

Getty Kyrie Irving #11 and Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets did what many teams haven’t been able to do, they kept their superstar player even after the star made a very public demand to be traded. Not only did Kevin Durant ask to be traded by the franchise, the request was escalated when the All-Star gave the team’s governor Joe Tsai an ultimatum that he could fire general manager Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash or trade him. Tsai sided with the Nets front office and coaching staff, and it looked like the star would for sure be traded. 

However, on August 23, the general manager who Durant requested to be fired released a statement that the sides had met and Durant had agreed to stay in Brooklyn. 

“[Coach] Steve Nash and I, together with [governors] Joe Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai, met with Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman in Los Angeles yesterday,” Marks said in a statement. “We have agreed to move forward with our partnership. We are focusing on basketball, with one collective goal in mind: build a lasting franchise to bring a championship to Brooklyn,” Marks wrote

While Durant was said to be back in Brooklyn for the long-term following the meeting, one NBA GM recently told Fox Sports’ Ric Bucher that that might not be true, and he still expects Durant to be dealt at the February trade deadline. 

GM Predicts Trade Deadline Durant Trade

“I think the Nets simply told him, ‘There’s not a deal we’re happy with, and we’re not just going to give you away,'” an Eastern Conference GM told Bucher. “I think he’ll still get moved by the trade deadline if it doesn’t go well. That may have even been part of the deal, a soft agreement that they’ll move him if it’s not working.”

Bucher shared the quote from the unnamed GM in a recent column titled ‘Why NBA Execs Believe A Kevin Durant Trade Is Still Likely.’ 

In the article, Bucher cites more than one team executive that believes that Durant may not actually be in Brooklyn for the long haul and can be up for grabs again around the All-Star break. 

“I think it’s temporary, based on whether they win or lose,” the executive said. “Those two [Durant and Irving] will start barking and want to get out of there.”

Bucher Suggests the News Could be for Leverage

Not only did Bucher share that the quotes from executives believe that Durant could be traded, but Bucher even suggested that the move could have been a leverage play. Bucher shares, “Nets GM Sean Marks’ phone has not been ringing with offers for Durant the past few weeks.” 

Perhaps the team knew their asking price was too high, and the prepared statement that came out of the meeting with Durant, his agent, Nash, Marks, and the Tsai’s was an agreement to table the discussions and create more demand for the superstar talent. The team’s looking to add Durant to help cement their title hopes may be more hesitant to give up the Nets’ historic asking price for Durant, though. If it were to create leverage, a mid-season trade doesn’t do much to help either side unless they send KD to a non-title-contending team. Just when you thought the Kevin Durant trade rumors roller coaster was reaching the end of its line, an unnamed GM gave reason for continued speculation. 

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