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NBA Rumors: Kevin Durant Requests Nets Trade; Suns, Heat Seen as 'Preferred' Teams

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJune 30, 2022

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Kevin Durant has reportedly requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets, according to Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported the Phoenix Suns are among Durant's "preferred' landing spots, while Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report noted the Heat were also mentioned earlier in the week in league circles. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski added that despite those teams being at the top of Durant's list, the Nets "plan to move Durant where they can get the best possible deal."

The decision comes after friend and teammate Kyrie Irving announced he would opt in to the final year of his contract with the Nets, worth $37 million. Charania noted Irving wanted to "fulfill his four-year commitment" to Brooklyn and Durant.

Wojnarowski reported Durant and Irving had no contact with the team after the opt-in, and there was a "sense of inevitability" that Durant would ask for a trade. The superstar reportedly requested the trade directly from team governor Joe Tsai, per Wojnarowski.

Durant is currently signed through the 2025-26 season after agreeing to a four-year, $194 million extension.

There was still uncertainty about his future this offseason while Irving was also potentially looking for a new home. Wojnarowski reported Irving created a list of teams for a possible sign-and-trade, with the Los Angeles Lakers named as a potential destination.

Durant, meanwhile, was monitoring the situation and "considering options with his future," per Charania.

The 33-year-old is apparently now ready to move on, which could create one of the biggest blockbuster trades in NBA history.

Durant has a resume that includes 12 All-Star selections, four scoring titles, one MVP, two NBA titles and two Finals MVP awards. He remains an elite offensive weapon 15 years into his career, averaging 29.9 points per game last season, which would have tied for second in the NBA with enough appearances to qualify.

The forward added 7.4 rebounds and a career-high 6.4 assists per game in 2021-22.

It would require a significant return for any team to land Durant, but a trade would legitimately shake up the landscape of the NBA going into next season.

The former Texas star initially joined the Nets in 2019 alongside Irving, but the duo has not found the team success many anticipated. In three years, the team has just one playoff series win, while this past year's squad was swept out of the first round by the Boston Celtics.

Durant and Irving played only 17 games together in 2021-22 and 27 games in 2020-21. Durant missed all of 2019-20 while recovering from an Achilles injury.

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