Brooklyn Networks Star Kevin Durant has requested a deal from the team, according to his manager Rich Kleiman. Nets General Manager Sean Marks is working with Durant and Kleiman to find a trade, Per Adrian Wojnarowski. Durant is said to have the Phoenix Suns and the Miami Heat as favorite destinations, but there will undoubtedly be no shortage of teams looking to seal the best deal for the 12-time All-Star services. Durant doesn’t have a no-trade clause in his contract, so Brooklyn is able to trade it in for whichever team will give them the best value.
This news comes after news emerged of concern about Brooklyn’s future with both Durant and Keri Irving. Once news broke earlier this week that Irving might not want to stay in Brooklyn anymore if the team wouldn’t offer him a long-term extension, there was grumbling that Durant might want to get out as well. However, Irving recently picked his $37 million player option for next season, suggesting that he and Durant will remain with the Nets for at least the 2022-23 season.
But Wojnarowski reports that neither Irving nor Durant had any contact with the Nets front desk after Irving made his player choice, suggesting Durant would eventually ask for a deal.
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This is a whirlwind ride for the Nets who were considered a favorite for the championship prior to last season. But a trade order from James Harden – which netted the 76ers’ Nets Ben Simmons – injuring MCL for Durant and Irving not being able to play for most of the season due to his completely vulnerable situation completely dashed those aspirations. As a result, the Nets were swept into the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics with Durant and Irving healthy. Durant’s desire to seek a business deal hints that he may be dealing with the turbulent nature of the Nets series since joining the team in 2019.
Durant’s $198 million four-year contract extension that he signed last summer didn’t start until the 2022-23 season, so it would require a massive offer from opposing teams to bring him in. But with the agency starting for free, each team will be calling the networks to try to put together a package worthy of Durant’s talents.
As for the Nets, that’s a tricky situation for a team that at one point had Durant, Irving and Harden and was the busiest team in the league on paper. This wealth of talent never quite lived up to her potential, despite the injuries and vaccinations that plagued the tournament’s journey.
Durant’s return could set the Nets well for the future with the potential to have several first-round picks and possibly a key young player to build around. They can also replace Irving now that he has made his player option, giving them more assets to work with.
Durant’s development has made everything more interesting as it is certain that every team in the league will now try to pivot and strike a deal with one of the league’s best players.
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