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Report: Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving Still Want Partnership Despite Nets Trade Request

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJune 30, 2022

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Kevin Durant wants to be traded from the Brooklyn Nets, and there's a "possibility" he could be dealt alongside Kyrie Irving, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

"I'm sure it's a scenario that's going to appeal to them," Wojnarowski said on NBA Today. "They've wanted to play together. They want to continue to play together, but the sense is they don't want to do it together in Brooklyn anymore."

Durant has four years remaining on his current contract, but the superstar reportedly requested a trade on Thursday, per Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic. The decision comes just three days after Irving announced he would opt in to the final year of his contract in Brooklyn.

According to Wojnarowski, Durant and Irving made no contact with the Nets after Monday's decision.

Durant and Irving both signed with the Nets as free agents in 2019, but the time together hasn't gone as expected. After losing in the second round of the playoffs in 2021, the squad was just a No. 7 seed in 2021-22 and suffered a first-round sweep in the postseason.

Irving's relationship with the organization also soured, with the two sides unable to agree on a contract extension.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst said there was an issue with the way the point guard treated his teammates and coaches that needed to be addressed before next season.

A trade with both players could allow the duo to start fresh in a new location and try to live up to expectations as a title contender. With a combined 19 All-Star selections, there is no doubt any team would instantly become a favorite for the 2023 championship after adding Durant and Irving.

This type of deal would still be difficult to accomplish, as Wojnarowski noted.

Durant and Irving will make a combined $81 million in 2022-23, which will be difficult to fit into any trade or the next team's salary cap. An organization would also have to want both players, and Irving doesn't have quite the same draw as Durant after missing 53 games last season. Wojnarowski previously reported the Los Angeles Lakers were the only team interested in Irving for a potential sign-and-trade.

The Nets might still keep an open mind as they look for the best path forward.

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