The KD Situation
On June 30, 2022, Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant requested a trade. It is unknown why Durant asked to be traded but it’s safe to assume as he gets older he is getting less and less patient in waiting to get back to the NBA Finals. The Nets were swept by the eventual Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs and surely that has to play a part in Durant’s ambition to be traded out of Brooklyn.
His teammate and friend Kyrie Irving may also be on his way out even though he opted into his player option for next season and released a statement saying he is committed to Brooklyn. But reports contradict his statement with the biggest rumor being Kyrie wants to reunite with Lebron James in LA.
Back to KD, this may be why he wants a trade and as I said before, his patience may be running out. In a report by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Durant would welcome a trade to either the Phoenix Suns or Miami Heat but Durant does not have a no-trade clause so the Nets and GM Sean Marks can trade Durant wherever they see fit. Woj has also said that Brooklyn “think this should look like one of the biggest trade returns in league history.” Reports also suggest the Nets are looking for a young All-Star caliber player and more than three first-round picks in a potential trade.
Before the Minnesota Timberwolves traded for Rudy Gobert, they called Brooklyn about a potential Durant trade and Brooklyn asked for Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards, and four first-round picks which Minnesota declined. That is the kind of offer the Nets are looking for and rightfully so as Durant has another four years left on his contract and is still one of the best players in the world.
According to The Athletic, Durant would only want to play in Miami if Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Kyle Lowry were still on the team. That would likely not excite the Nets as they would definitely want one or two of those guys in return as well as picks. Now for Phoenix, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that it is “well known” around the NBA that Phoenix is Durant’s preferred destination. But the Suns obviously would keep Devin Booker and Chris Paul out of a potential deal and their best offer isn’t exactly the best possible return Brooklyn could get. An offer from the Suns might look like Deandre Ayton, Cam Johnson, Mikal Bridges, and picks and it’s been reported that the Nets aren’t very high on Ayton and the other two are great players but not All-Stars.
While the Nets do have free reign to trade KD wherever they see fit, their leverage might not be as strong as some think. This situation is much different than any trade request in recent memory, Durant is still at the top of his game and is putting up crazy numbers even at the age of 33. Yes, KD is under contract for the next four seasons but no team would trade for him without his full commitment which would give teams like Phoenix and Miami a better chance at landing the superstar forward.
It will be incredibly intriguing to see how this situation continues to unfold, it feels like a trade could happen any day now, or maybe this goes all the way into the beginning of the season. Durant might even choose to stay in Brooklyn it feels like anything could happen. If a trade does occur, it would definitely shift the balance of power in the NBA and while many are saying Durant’s legacy and reputation may take a hit from the trad request alone it feels like Durant is trying to put himself into the best situation to shut the haters up and put his name on all the GOAT lists and hang a couple more banners but he retires. At 33, the clock is ticking for Durant and wherever he plays next season it will be must-watch.