NBA Executive Applauds Nets Setting the ‘Blueprint’ After Durant Negotiations

Joe Tsai

Getty Joe Tsai, owner of the Brooklyn Nets

On August 23, The Kevin Durant saga with the Brooklyn Nets took its final turn with the 12-Time All-Star rescinding his trade request from the Nets. For the entire summer, the NBA transaction business has been on hold with teams waiting to see what happens with Durant. Free agent signings have been on standby, other trade possibilities have been on hold, and the offseason kind of just stopped before it started with Durant requesting the trade just before free agency opened. 

Brooklyn fielded offers or initial conversations with a majority of the NBA teams, but their asking price was too incredibly high, and a deal never really grew legs. The Nets wanted a historic asking price for KD, and they wanted an All-Star, quality starter, rotation player, and draft picks in exchange for their superstar forward. All along, Brooklyn hoped to bring back Durant, and the move was honestly smart. The team would either keep Durant or trade him for a historic trade package. 

One NBA executive recently spoke to praising how Brooklyn handled the demands from Durant, a player with four years left on his contract. 

NBA Executive on Nets Handling of Trade Request

In a conversation with Heavy’s Steve Bulpett, an executive shared that the Nets may have set a new blueprint on how teams will handle trade requests. 

“Brooklyn just said, ‘Enough of this s***.’ And good for them,” a league exec told Heavy Sports. “This should be a blueprint for every team that goes through something like this, but I’m sure it won’t. Guys who run major businesses and are tough as hell all of a sudden change when it comes to their teams … and their stars.

“It’s important to maintain good relationships and loyalty and all that with your players, but if the player is doing something that’s hurting the team — hurting the business — then you have to stand your ground and remember how you got the money to buy the team in the first place,” the executive said

Brooklyn standing their ground and not lowering its asking price for Durant is something the executive applauded. He also credited Nets governor Joe Tsai for making tough business decisions. 

Joe Tsai’s Stance on Nets Trade

When the trade request was expected to go to another level was when Durant issued his ultimatum to Tsai. In the ultimatum, Durant stated that the Nets would need to fire general manager Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash to keep him. The ultimatum was expected to take the Nets’ leverage away in trade negotiations, but Tsai echoed that the team would look to acquire every asset they can in Durant deals. 

Brooklyn not wavering in its stance in Durant negotiations helped the team ultimately convince him to rescind his trade request. Not only in the Durant negotiations, but Brooklyn avoided having to resign Kyrie Irving to a long-term max extension with there still being unknowns around his future or possible sit-outs with the vaccine or teased earlier retirements. Now the Nets are running it back and will have a chance to see what they have in their current big three of Irving, Durant, and Ben Simmons, who is anticipated to make his Nets debut this season. 

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