The Brooklyn Nets traded their star point guard Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks on February 5. Irving joined the franchise in 2019 during the free agency period with his long-time friend Kevin Durant who looked to usher in a new era of basketball on the other side of New York City. But after only three and a half seasons, Irving’s time with the Nets has ended.
Now that the Irving era is officially over, Durant is weighing his future with the Nets, per ESPN NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski.
“In aftermath of Kyrie Irving trade, the Brooklyn Nets and Kevin Durant are having ongoing conversations on the direction of the franchise, but the organization has thus far told inquiring teams that they’re not planning to trade him before Thursday’s deadline,” Wojnarowski tweeted on February 7.
“Durant had interest in a deal to the Suns over the summer, but so far, the Nets haven’t shown a willingness to move him to Phoenix or anywhere else, sources tell ESPN. There have been a number of teams reaching out to Brooklyn on Durant.”
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Kevin Durant ‘Upset’ About Kyrie Irving Trade
Durant has now seen three blockbuster trades go down during his Nets tenure. In January 2021, they sent a king’s ransom to the Houston Rockets to acquire All-Star shooting guard James Harden. Less than a year later, Harden requested out of Brooklyn and got traded to the Philadelphia 76ers for Ben Simmons. And now Kyrie, who many believe is one of the main reasons Durant ever joined the Nets, has also departed.
When Durant and Irving joined the Nets, they were considered a packaged deal. With Kyrie officially a part of the Dallas Mavericks, ESPN NBA Insider Brian Windhorst says that Durant is “upset” following his ex- co-star’s departure.
“I’ve been told that Kevin was upset when Kyrie asked for a trade. But the question I don’t have the answer to, and I’m not going to try to get in Kevin’s head, was he upset at the Nets or was he upset at Kyrie?” Windhorst said on the 6:00 SportsCenter on February 6 via RealGM.
“The interesting thing right now is that some of the teams that the Nets might be going to potentially help bring in pieces to try to keep Durant satisfied potentially could be Durant suitors whether he wants to come to the market again in the next three days or wants to come to the market in July. The question teams are asking themselves is ‘why should we maybe help the Nets now and do a deal if that could help them keep Durant?'”
Jacque Vaughn Sounds off on Cam Thomas
With Durant currently weighing his future in Brooklyn, one thing that could convince him to stay is the recent performance of second-year guard Cam Thomas. Thomas followed up his career-high 44 points against the Washington Wizards and notched another career-high against the Los Angeles Clippers with 47 points.
After scoring 91 points in his last two games, Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn sounded off on how he plans to utilize Thomas moving forward.
“I have some new school and old school in me. Hopefully, I’m able to use it at the right time. I think for young guys to go through something so they can get to the other side. There’s something to that. There’s something to not playing and putting in the work and doing it when you don’t get your results at your timing and Cam has shown himself,” Vaughn told reporters after the Nets’ loss to the Clippers.
“He joked the other day that he’s the all-time leading scorer in our stay-ready group, so he put in a lot of work and he’s getting rewarded for it. And maybe it wasn’t at the timing of others, maybe it wasn’t even at his timing. But he’s taking advantage of it and sometimes that’s just the way it works out.”
Thomas can continue his hot streak in Brooklyn’s next game against the Phoenix Suns on February 7.