Kevin Durant's Reported Trade Request from Nets Stuns Ja Morant, NBA Twitter

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 30, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 12: Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets walks off the court after the second half of the Eastern Conference 2022 Play-In Tournament against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Barclays Center on April 12, 2022 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Nets won 115-108. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets' championship window may have slammed shut.

When Kyrie Irving told Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium on Monday that he intended to pick up his player option, many thought that was a reprieve for Brooklyn when it came to the team's top two stars.

However, Charania and ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday that Kevin Durant has requested a trade.

Naturally, the news set social media ablaze, with Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant and Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid among those reacting:

Ja Morant @JaMorant

easy money

Joel “Troel” Embiid @JoelEmbiid


Kevin Clark @bykevinclark

Wow the Big Ten is really swinging for the fences. <a href="https://t.co/NjUaeJ3myp">https://t.co/NjUaeJ3myp</a>

Pat McAfee @PatMcAfeeShow

HOOOOLY SHIT <a href="https://t.co/O5G0V10yY2">https://t.co/O5G0V10yY2</a>

Aaron Ladd @aaronladd0

Brooklyn man, sheesh

John Hollinger @johnhollinger

Holy shiitake <a href="https://t.co/AQXwL01yjB">https://t.co/AQXwL01yjB</a>

Kellan Olson @KellanOlson

KD when Kyrie said he's coming back <a href="https://t.co/Df9hZb0HUw">pic.twitter.com/Df9hZb0HUw</a>

Andy Bailey @AndrewDBailey

I cannot wrap my head around Brooklyn surrendering a first-round pick for 29-year-old Royce O'Neale at around the same time Kevin Durant requests a trade.

Wojnarowski reported June 22 that teams around the NBA were monitoring Irving's situation in the belief his departure could make Durant available. That led to plenty of discourse about where KD might play next.

Now that he has formally requested a trade, let the hypothetical dealing commence:

Rohan Nadkarni @RohanNadkarni

I need KD &amp; Chris Paul vs. the Warriors in the playoffs. I will give a year off my life for that

David Dennis Jr. @DavidDTSS

after having 5 minutes to think about this my guess is Ayton + another young player + picks sends KD to Phoenix

Jason Huber @_JasonHuber

So, what could the Hornets give up to land KD?

Nathan Chester @NathanChester24

Memphis' baseline offer would need to be something like this:<br>-Desmond Bane<br>-Dillon Brooks<br>-Ziaire Williams<br>-Steven Adams<br>-2023 1st<br>-2024 1st<br>-2024 1st (from GS)<br>-2025 1st<br><br>And I'd do this. KD is probably the best player in the world when he's at the top of his craft.

Anthony Chiang @Anthony_Chiang

Heat can’t include Bam Adebayo in a potential Kevin Durant deal because of CBA rules, as <a href="https://twitter.com/BobbyMarks42?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BobbyMarks42</a> pointed out a few days ago. <a href="https://t.co/60hQusgZK4">https://t.co/60hQusgZK4</a>

Mason Ginsberg @MasonGinsberg

Worth mentioning that the Pelicans can do a lot that other teams can't from a draft pick perspective in any potential Durant offer given the # of years they have multiple 1sts - the Stepien rule wouldn't be as limiting for them <a href="https://t.co/ZmpCiKiupm">https://t.co/ZmpCiKiupm</a>

Gordon Gross @GMoneyNuggs

I still wanna see Durant go back to OKC. It would just be amazing to me. He could literally rewrite his legacy on the fly, going almost the same route that LeBron did to bring a title to the team that drafted him (well, the zombie Sonics) after rings elsewhere. Not happening tho

The plot will thicken when it comes to Irving.

Brooklyn's first-round draft capital for the foreseeable future is in the Houston Rockets' hands, so general manager Sean Marks can't tear it all down and build anew. Keeping Irving would help the Nets remain competitive, but it seems unlikely he or the team will want to move forward together if Durant is gone.

Zack Rosenblatt @ZackBlatt

Kyrie and Ben Simmons, name a better duo ……………………………

Chris Williamson @CWilliamson44

Kyrie: Let’s run it back in the fall KD brothas for life. KD: <a href="https://t.co/DYfAS3AiTG">pic.twitter.com/DYfAS3AiTG</a>

Reese Waters @reesewaters

Kyrie: I'll see you in the fall<br><br>KD: <a href="https://t.co/e8IbYG2fK5">pic.twitter.com/e8IbYG2fK5</a>

This is shaping up to be a disaster for the organization. The front office parted ways with head coach Kenny Atkinson in 2020 and steadily dismantled a promising young core in order to build around Durant and Irving.

Brooklyn did all that and might only have one conference semifinals run and two first-round exits to show for its trouble.

Alec Sturm @Alec_Sturm

No one is blameless here. <br><br>The Nets majorly botched extension negotiations, KD enabled all of Kyrie’s behavior, and Kyrie… where do I even start. <br><br>What a way for a near-championship team to fall apart.

Chris Milholen @CMilholenSB

Three years ago, the “Clean Sweep” happened. <br><br>To the day, Kevin Durant requests a trade out of Brooklyn. This is easily the worst year in Nets franchise history. <a href="https://t.co/wPbtBdln6B">https://t.co/wPbtBdln6B</a>

Rod @rodimusprime

The Nets had Harden, Durant, and Kyrie and now they just got Ben Simmons. What a year.

Carl Anka @Ankaman616

Brooklyn Nets did all of that end up looking like a boneless version of the Knicks? Tough scene. Tuff. Scene.

Matt Brooks @MattBrooksNBA

Nets FO has no one to blame but themselves <a href="https://t.co/Vcii5HjIsv">https://t.co/Vcii5HjIsv</a>

The Nets leaned all the way into player empowerment when they signed Durant and Irving. The epic failure of their plan will serve as a cautionary tale.