Per ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski, All-NBA forward Kevin Durant has officially requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. After just one playoff series win and no appearances in the Eastern Conference Finals, what was supposed to be a team that contended for championships for years down the line, appears to be coming to a close. After rollercoaster seasons with the Nets over the last two years, the 12-time All-Star has decided that he wants to move on.
Although Durant has officially requested a trade, in the NBA, things can change in a New York Minute. NBA insider Ramona Shelburne notes that late Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, at one point, requested a trade from the franchise. But it was vehemently denied by the Lakers front office. Bryant went on to win two more titles with Los Angeles and two NBA Finals MVPs before retiring with the franchise in 2020.
“As seismic as this KD news is, I’m old enough to remember Kobe going on LA radio requesting a trade … saying he’d rather play on Pluto… the Lakers looking for such trades… not doing it… then Kobe winning MVP and LAL going to the Finals the next year,” Shelburne said of Durant’s trade request via her Twitter account on June 30.
“Things move faster and differently in 2022 than back then. But history tells us there are many chapters —and maybe surprises—still to come,” she added.
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Durant Could Command Historic Trade Package
The Nets’ “dynasty” is over before it even had a chance to take off. It’s unknown if the relationship between Durant and the Nets is salvageable. But if he were to be traded, you can bet your bottom dollar that Nets general manager Sean Marks and owner Joe Tsai will want to be fairly compensated in any deal for Durant as he is one of the league’s brightest stars. NBA insider Jake L. Fischer of “Bleacher Report” says that the Nets superstar could command one of the biggest trade packages in NBA history.
“Brooklyn did not entertain rival inquiries for Durant earlier this week, sources told B/R, but Nets personnel made it clear Brooklyn’s asking price would be massive in the event Durant ever did request to be moved. If Dejounte Murray drew two unprotected first-round picks, plus a third first-rounder and an additional pick swap, how much should Durant be worth on that scale?” Fischer writes.
“Whatever the outcome, there will be many moving parts, and this transaction could very well become one of the largest blockbusters the NBA has ever seen.”
Nets Were Prepared for Grim Reality with Durant
The relationship between Kyrie, Durant, and the Nets front office is frayed and has been for some time. Multiple reports suggested that Durant had no contact with Nets ownership since their first-round elimination at the hands of the Boston Celtics. It wasn’t perceived to be a big deal, even though his co-star Kyrie was not signed to an extension, and had a player option coming up where could elect to become a free agent.
But even after Irving opted in, neither he nor KD had spoken with Nets ownership, which ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski says was a sign to Tsai and Marks that they needed to prepare for a grim reality.
“Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving had no contact with the franchise after Irving opted into his deal on Monday, and a sense of inevitability existed that Durant would eventually ask for a trade,” Wojnarowski said on Twitter.
The Nets were hoping to run it back with a full-time Kyrie and a healthy Ben Simmons in addition to Durant. That wish, unfortunately, may never materialize.