NBA News: Kevin Durant & Nets Agree To Move Forward With Partnership, Ending Trade Talks
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The nearly two-month-long standoff between Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets became the main storyline of the 2022 NBA offseason — one that seemingly had a profound impact on the trade market.

Durant requested a trade just before free agency began, fueling rumors of Nets co-star Kyrie Irving’s potential move to the Los Angeles Lakers. Speculations over Durant’s future also loomed over the Phoenix Suns’ decision to re-sign Deandre Ayton and have played a factor in other NBA teams’ pursuit of Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell.

But the saga seems to have come to an end as the Nets and Durant have agreed to bury the hatchet. “We have agreed to move forward with our partnership,” Brooklyn’s general manager Sean Marks wrote in a statement. “We are focusing on basketball, with one collective goal in mind: build a lasting franchise to bring a championship to Brooklyn.”

Durant reportedly gave Joe Tsai an ultimatum earlier this month, telling the Nets owner to pick either him or Marks and head coach Steve Nash.

But the two men seem to have found a way to reassure the two-time NBA champion they can still fight for the championship together — even though Brooklyn was forced to trade James Harden during the 2021-22 season before becoming the only team to get swept in the postseason.

What does Durant’s U-turn mean for Lakers’ pursuit of Irving?

The Nets’ announcement likely indicates the Lakers’ pursuit of Irving is also over. In addition, recent reports claimed Brooklyn “made it clear” to interested teams they wanted to keep the 30-year-old guard.

However, some speculated Irving was always more likely to be traded by the Nets than Durant. Also, other reports suggested Durant requested a trade to make Brooklyn part ways with the playmaker.

With it looking like Irving will remain in Brooklyn this season though, the Lakers will have to look elsewhere for roster upgrades with the Utah Jazz and Indiana Pacers being potential options.

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