The NBA offseason has been in a bit of a holding pattern since Kevin Durant requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets nearly two months ago. Some free agent moves remain hanging in the balance for teams considered to be in the Durant discussions. However, despite Durant’s request and ultimatum, the Nets remain consistent in their hopes to negotiate a deal that would bring the superstar forward back to Brooklyn.
“The other negotiation that is now developing is between Durant and the Nets. That separate negotiation about what it would like for him to come back. That’s what a big part of the discussion he had with owner Joe Tsai in London about 10, 11 days ago was. Joe Tsai and the Nets believe they have a really good team. They don’t believe they have a good trade for Kevin Durant. They want him to consider coming back. But Durant has very clearly made it known he doesn’t want to play for the Nets under the current situation with the current coach and current GM,” Brian Windhorst said.
In their negotiations to get Durant to stay in Brooklyn, perhaps they could look to signing a player that Durant and Kyrie Irving are known to wanting to play with. In 2019, Irving and Durant made strong pushes for the Nets to sign Brooklyn native Carmelo Anthony in free agency.
Carmelo Anthony to the Nets?
One NBA executive told Heavy’s own Sean Deveney a few players the Nets could look at to round out their remaining roster spots and among them was Carmelo Anthony.
“They need another big guy, but they’re not feeling a lot of pressure as far as filling that spot. There are veterans they can sign this month or even early next month—Dwight Howard would be the obvious one, maybe Hassan Whiteside. Cody Zeller is out there, too. They want to see what they have with Nic Claxton, but they want some insurance there, too. And they’re going to play (Ben) Simmons there quite a bit in small ball lineups. I’d expect them to keep 14 guys, keep one spot open. There has been some talk about them signing Carmelo Anthony, maybe as a nod to Kevin Durant, but obviously that has not gotten anywhere, at least not yet.”
Durant is known to have wanted to add Anthony in the past, and the Nets may use this as a potential negotiation offering to help increase the chances he returns to Brooklyn. Anthony averaged an impressive 13.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game last season for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Nets Roster if Durant Returns
If Kevin Durant returns to Brooklyn next year, the team has a sneaky good roster. After an offseason of uncertainty, their roster may be being overlooked, but they have an excellent starting lineup and depth off the bench. A starting lineup could feature Irving, Seth Curry, Kevin Durant, Royce O’Neale, and Ben Simmons, who the team wants to play at the center position. Then they have incredible depth in Joe Harris, who could also start in lieu of O’Neale. TJ Warren was an excellent signing for cheap. Patty Mills, Nic Claxton, and Day’Ron Sharpe add excellent rotation options for Brooklyn. Then if they add a quality backup big like Dwight Howard or Hassan Whiteside and Carmelo Anthony, the sky could be the limit in Brooklyn.