The NBA has been anxiously waiting to see what happens with the Brooklyn Nets and Kevin Durant.
Since Durant asked for a trade from Brooklyn, the offseason essentially came to a stop as teams looked to trade for the future Hall of Famer. For someone like Durant to ask out with four years left on his deal is unprecedented, and has made making any moves nearly impossible until teams have a clear picture of the fallout.
It’s been over a month since Durant’s request was made and with little traction on a deal, he decided to reiterate his desire to be moved to Nets owner Joe Tsai. In the meeting, Durant reportedly told Tsai that he either wants to be traded or for him to fire general manager Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash.
Backed into an unenviable position, Tsai publicly offered his support for the Nets front office and coaching staff via his Twitter account:
Our front office and coaching staff have my support. We will make decisions in the best interest of the Brooklyn Nets.
— Joe Tsai (@joetsai1999) August 8, 2022
Tsai’s tweet sounds like he is choosing his organization over Durant, which means that trade talks could pick up in the near future. Caving into Durant’s demands to fire marks and Nash would make Brooklyn look weak, and it’s clear Tsai is aware that he can’t hand over the franchise to a superstar who has proven to be willing to burn bridges when it suits him.
So far, the Toronto Raptors, Miami Heat, and Boston Celtics are reportedly the front runners to trade for Durant though trade packages have been hard to assemble as Brookyn’s asking price remains high. However, with Tsai publicly backing his staff it feels like only a matter of time until Durant is dealt and the rest of the league can go on with filling out their rosters.
If the Nets do indeed trade Durant then that puts the future of Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn in question. If he is shopped as well then the Los Angeles Lakers will perhaps be the only team interested, which could pave the way for a deal to get done.
Signs pointing to LeBron James signing extension
While the Nets sort out their Durant mess, the Lakers are working with LeBron James and agent Rich Paul on an extension to keep him in Purple and Gold. Despite the disaster that was the 2021-22 season, all signs are pointing toward James re-signing and staying in Los Angeles.
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