It has now been nearly three weeks since Kevin Durant requested to be traded from the Brooklyn Nets ahead of NBA free agency. Since then, there has been a tornado of trade proposals constantly swirling around the Nets organization. Early on, reports that just about every NBA team was interested in seeing if they could pull of a deal, even surprising teams like the Golden State Warriors. Both the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat were at the top of Durant’s wishlist of places to land. However, the Suns are considered out after matching Deandre Ayton’s record-setting matched offer sheet. The Heat likely don’t have the assets to complete a deal as they hesitate to include Bam Adebayo in discussions. That doesn’t leave a lot out there for potential suitors.
The New Orleans Pelicans were considered a possibility if they were willing to part with Brandon Ingram. Recently, the Washington Wizards made a surprising appearance in trade discussions with the team making a “major push” to acquire the hometown superstar. However, with all of these teams, no talks advanced far beyond the beginning stages, and the growing theory is that Durant and Kyrie Irving will be back in Brooklyn next season.
On the July 20 episode of ESPN’s Get Up, NBA Insider Brian Windhorst reported that talks have slowed down a lot.
“From what I understand, the trade talks involving Kevin Durant have slowed to a trickle,” Windhorst reports. “You can still get some Nets folks on the phone if you wanna make an offer, but they are not aggressively, I am told, making outgoing calls.”
Windhorst Praises Nets Offseason
Windhorst, after discussing the possibility of Durant returning, surprisingly noted that he likes the moves the Nets have made this offseason despite the constant drama.
“I almost can’t believe what I’m about to say. The Brooklyn Nets have had a good offseason,” Windhorst said. “In a vacuum, they have gotten healthier, they have added supporting pieces, there is optimism that Ben Simmons is going to be better. And I think looking at the menu of options that the Nets are like ‘Kyrie, Kevin, take a look here.'”
The moves that Windhorst alludes to is adding the strong supporting pieces like defensive wing Royce O’Neale, TJ Warren on a budget to provide scoring depth and the hopeful return of Ben Simmons from his lingering back injury.
What is Durant Thinking?
After praising the Nets’ offseason, Windhorst noted that while he is impressed with Brooklyn’s moves, there still are no indications of what Durant is thinking.
“What I will say is that nobody knows what Kevin Durant is thinking right now,” Windhorst said. “His communication with teammates and others in the league has been sparse. I don’t even know if the Nets have a hundred percent understanding of why Durant asked for a trade.”
Whether or not the team is able to convince Durant to run it back with the pieces they have added remains to be seen, but if he does return, the Nets could be a team that contends deep into the Eastern Conference playoffs.