Durant’s decision could have long-term implications for the NBA
Kevin Durant’s quest for more titles may take him elsewhere.
According to a person with direct knowledge of the decision, Durant has requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets, which will undoubtedly have teams scrambling to put together massive offers for the perennial All-Star.
Durant has several teams on his preferred list, and the Nets have been working with him to find a trade partner.
According to the person who spoke to the Associated Press on Thursday under the condition of anonymity because neither the player nor Brooklyn made any statements to the public,
Durant’s trade request was first reported by ESPN, which named Phoenix and Miami as two of his preferred destinations.
The shocking news came just hours before the start of the NBA’s free-agent period this summer.
Durant has played in 14 seasons, not including the year he missed due to an Achilles tendon tear. In his career, he has averaged 27.2 points per game, second only to LeBron James (27.3 points per game).
Even at his age-Durant will turn 34 on September 29, around the time training camps open this fall-he remains one of the best players in the game, his 6ft 10in frame making his jump shot unstoppable.
Durant is a 12-time All-Star, four-time scoring champion, three-time Olympic gold medalist, and two-time NBA champion, all with Golden State before joining Brooklyn.
He has four years and nearly $200 million left on his contract, so acquiring him may require a large haul of players, draft picks, or both.
Durant played for the Nets for three seasons, missing the first due to an Achilles injury. After leading the U.S. to Olympic gold in Tokyo last summer, he averaged 29.9 points in 55 games last season.
Unless he changes his mind and decides to stay, his departure will be devastating to the Nets. Last year at this time, the Nets were betting on a championship run with a core led by Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving.
That plan never came to fruition. Due to his refusal to be vaccinated against COVID-19, Irving was ineligible to play in home games for the majority of the season.
Harden was eventually traded to Philadelphia in exchange for Ben Simmons, who didn’t play at all last season. Durant led Brooklyn to the playoffs, where it was swept by eventual Eastern Conference champion Boston in the first round.
And the Nets’ offseason has been anything but peaceful. Irving’s future was up in the air until he decided to exercise his $37 million option to stay with Brooklyn this season earlier this week.
Durant now wants out, and the Nets must either convince him otherwise or make drastic changes to their roster.