The Kevin Durant trade speculation seemingly got put to bed after the star rescinded his trade demand with the Brooklyn Nets. Durant, his agent, Steve Nash, Sean Marks, and Joe and Clara Wu Tsai met in August and were able to negotiate a way for Durant to commit to coming back to Brooklyn. Now the team looks to be prepared to run it back with Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons. However, on August 30, NBA Insider Ric Bucher shared a quote from one unnamed GM that stated his belief that Durant could still be shopped at February’s trade deadline.
“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,'” the GM said. “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.”
Eastern Conference Executive on Likelihood of Deadline Trade
The belief that Durant would be shopped at the deadline didn’t make much sense after the Nets spent a summer looking for a historic trade haul in return for Durant. A February deal would likely not have the same return as one before the season. Another NBA Executive told Heavy that if any Nets player were to be shopped midseason, it wouldn’t be Kevin Durant. It would be Kyrie Irving.
“Not at the deadline, no. Maybe Kyrie because of his contract, he is going to be a free agent. So if the year is a disappointment early on, then yes, you would at least have to explore the trade market on Kyrie.” the Eastern Conference Executive told Heavy when asked about the possibility of Durant being shopped at the deadline. “You won’t get good value because of all the baggage Kyrie has and because it would probably be a short-term rental. We’ll see how it goes with the Lakers but if they have a good year and feel like they’re just a Kyrie away from contending next year, they’ll be in a position to get him next summer. So that drags down his trade value.”
The Executive noted that the Nets have yet to see their currently assembled big three of Irving, Durant, and Ben Simmons play together, and the team wants to see what they can accomplish.
“But they put this thing together three years ago, and they want to see it through, give it at least one genuine chance with Durant and Kyrie and Simmons. They were never serious about trading Durant this summer. They at least want to see what the group can do if they’re healthy. They have not had that chance.”
Durant Deals Would Wait Until Next Offseason
If the season doesn’t go as well as the Nets hope, they wouldn’t deal Durant during the season they would wait until the offseason, ahead of the draft, to get the most amount of assets and bring a bigger return of players.
“If they deal Durant, it will be next offseason, before the draft, when you have a chance to put together some picks, some young players, a package you’d actually want. Durant told them to trade him a couple hours before free agency. That was a joke, you can’t do that. Next spring, there will be more picks to trade, there will be more cap space to give teams flexibility. If you do lose Kyrie, you can take back another supermax guy. There’s no point in doing it in February,” the Executive continued in a conversation with Heavy’s Sean Deveney.
The Nets now have a season to compete and earn back the trust of Durant or now find a deal next offseason to regroup and move on from the possibly failed Durant and Irving experiment. However, with the return of Simmons and Joe Harris the team hopes it can compete for NBA titles.