It’s been just about a month since the news broke that Kevin Durant had requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. A few rumors have leaked regarding packages the Nets have asked other teams for, including a ludicrous one from the Timberwolves and a counter to a trade proposal from the Celtics that reportedly included Jaylen Brown, but nothing has appeared close to happening.
So for now Durant remains in Brooklyn, which has publicly stated its willingness to carry Durant and Kyrie Irving into training camp and eventually the season if an offer doesn’t meet their exceedingly high demands. Is Durant getting anxious for a deal? The longer this goes, and as the emotion of the Irving drama wears off, is he reconsidering his willingness to give it another go with the Nets?
Perhaps these talking points will be on the docket when Durant meets with Nets owner Joe Tsai, which he is set to do this week according to longtime NBA reporter Steve Bulpett.
“What I’m hearing is that KD is going to meet with the owner this week,” the source told Heavy Sports. “He’s going to go directly to the owner, Joe Tsai, sometime this week. We’ll see how that works.”
Whether the intent of the meeting is to smooth over a relationship that suffered at least a hairline fracture when Durant, with four years left on his contract, asked to be traded is uncertain.
“I don’t know,” the source said. “I have no idea what’s going to come of that meeting. There are some things that KD is unhappy about, and I’m not sure any of that gets fixed here. But maybe it does.”
The Nets have some leverage here. Any time a superstar requests a trade it’s sticky for the team, regardless of contract status, but the fact that Durant is entering the first year of a four-year deal means Brooklyn isn’t going to give him away for anything less than a monster return. There very well might not be a team out there that can justify paying such a price.
If the Nets want their best shot at a title, they’ll stand tall and keep Durant, Irving and Ben Simmons. That’s a trio that can compete for a championship if they collectively commit to the cause and remain healthy. On the other hand, the second Durant gets traded, the Nets become a significantly worse team.
The rub would be Durant refusing to play for the Nets, but it’s hard to imagine him doing that. Durant, who’ll be 34 when the season starts, is a hooper through and through. If it comes down to it, he’s going to play basketball and he’s going to play as hard as he can. This isn’t Houston James Harden we’re talking about. Durant is as reliable a superstar as there is. He can request a trade. He has that right. But Brooklyn doesn’t have to do it. We’ll see what comes of this reported meeting.