The Brooklyn Nets are still navigating through ways to move their franchise star, Kevin Durant. For those who may be tardy to the party, Durant requested a trade from the franchise on June 30. His request comes less than a year removed from him signing a 4-year, $198 million max extension with the franchise last summer that will officially kick in this upcoming season.
But nearly two months have elapsed since Durant made his request known to the Nets, and there has been minimal traction on a trade to get him out of Brooklyn. This has largely been because Nets owner Joe Tsai and general manager Sean Marks have been adamant about not accepting any trade offers that do not fairly compensate them for a player of Durant’s caliber.
One of the teams the Nets have previously been linked to in a potential deal for the 12-time All-Star is the New Orleans Pelicans. However, nothing is likely to materialize as Christian Clark of NOLA.com says that the Pelicans front office is ‘unwilling’ to part ways with their All-Star forward Brandon Ingram in Any potential deals.
“If Durant gets moved, the New Orleans Pelicans could be players in the sweepstakes, but that would likely require them to surrender Brandon Ingram. League sources say the Pelicans are unwilling to do so,” Clark writes.
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Pelicans Declined Nets Previous Trade Offer
Clark’s update is consistent with a July report from Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson of Bally Sports. In an interview with George Wrightster on Sirius XM’s Mad Dog Radio on July 12, the insider noted that the Pelicans and Nets had previously engaged in talks about a Durant deal where the Nets received Ingram and Larry Nance Jr. from New Orleans to which the Pelicans declined.
“The Pelicans don’t want to give up Brandon Ingram. And the Nets wanted Brandon Ingram and Larry Nance Jr along with some of the six picks that the Pelicans have from trades with the Lakers and the Bucks,” Robinson said.
The insider also noted that Durant’s trade value may not be as high as previously assumed. Entering the latter years of his thirties, coming off a near career-ending Achilles injury in 2019, and suffering long-term injuries in back-to-back seasons with the Nets, all have put his availability under a microscope for teams interested in his services.
“There’s a lot of teams that feel like Kevin is of a certain age that they don’t deserve certain looks,” Robinson added.
Pelicans Could Have Something Cooking With All-Star Trio
Even though Durant is one of the best players in the NBA, it makes sense that New Orleans is unwilling to part ways with their young star to land the two-time NBA Finals MVP.
Last season Ingram propelled New Orleans out of the play-in tournament and gave the West’s top-seeded Phoenix Suns all they could handle in the first round of the playoffs before losing in six games.
Aside from the fact that Ingram is younger and has played more games than Durant in the past two seasons, the Pelicans have no idea how the Ingram and Zion Williamson pairing will work out. And with the midseason addition of All-Star guard CJ McCollum, a new ‘Big 3’ could be brewing in the Bayou.