NBA Executive Urges Nets to ‘Get Back to Reality’ in Trade Discussions with Eastern Conference Rival

Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets, who has been linked to the Boston Celtics.

Getty Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets, who has been linked to the Boston Celtics.

After all of the talk about Kevin Durant and his ultimatum to try to force his way off of the Brooklyn Nets, the conversation has wrapped its way back around to the possibility of the Nets negotiating with Durant to encourage a return to Brooklyn next season. The ultimatum he issued to Nets governor Joe Tsai seemed to be the final nail in the coffin of the Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving era in Kings County, New York. However, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst shared a report that essentially said: “not so fast.”

“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.

“You have to ask yourself, what is the avenue? What is the path for Kevin Durant to move forward with the Nets? Because he’s been told no on firing Steve Nash. He’s been told no on firing Sean Marks. So where do we go from here?” Windhorst said. 

Brooklyn returning to negotiate with Durant is two-fold, according to Windhorst. 1. Brooklyn knows if he returns that they have a competitive team in place for him. 2. It is virtually impossible to get back an equal return for the generational talent. However, one NBA executive has privately shared with that the Nets need to ‘get back to reality,’ and seriously consider the Celtics trade involving Jaylen Brown. 

Nets Need to ‘Get Back to Reality’ with Jaylen Brown Proposal

In a conversation with another NBA executive, Heavy’s Steve Bulpett was told that the Celtics proposal is an excellent one for Durant. 

“Jaylen Brown is the single best player we’ve heard tied to this thing, so Brooklyn has to keep that alive,” one league executive told Heavy Sports. “I still don’t know how real that is, and, trust me, we’ve been trying to find out for our own sake.

“There may be nothing there at all, or maybe there’s something if Brooklyn gets back to reality with what they’re asking for. But unless they can find another deal for Durant or they work things out with him, a team like Boston is stuck in this — the rumors and the whispers around the league at least — because they’ve got really good players.

“I’m sure Brad (Stevens, president of basketball operations) has talked to Brown, and they’re all cool, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t going to be uncomfortable,” the executive continued.

Brown is an ‘Upper-Echelon’ Talent

An NBA scout also told Bulpett that the Nets should put more consideration into the Durant and Brown discussions because he is a high-quality talent in the NBA. 

“I’m not sure he’s in that top group with Giannis and KD and those people,” he said of Brown, “but he’s certainly in the upper echelon of players in this league. And the thing about Jaylen is that he’s still getting better.

“He’s high level at both ends of the court, which is something you really look at with a guy who can score, because not all people who can put up numbers are as invested as he is on the defensive end. And Boston’s been successful with him, with both those guys. Tatum and Brown have been the top guys on a team that’s competing for a championship.

“I used to laugh when I heard people suggesting they should break them up. For what? I mean, there’s very few players who are untradeable, but it would take a lot — I mean, a lot — for me to break that up. Now, if you’re talking about someone like Kevin Durant, then that’s a discussion you at least have to have within your team. I’m not saying you end up doing it, but you’re not doing your job if you don’t have that conversation internally,” the scout said. 

If the Nets do choose to acquire Brown in Durant discussions, he could shine in Brooklyn as a replacement for KD and have the ability to back up the words that he is an upper-echelon talent. 


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