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Kevin Durant amid Nets Trade Rumors: Ones Locked in the Gym with Me 'Know What It Is'

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 2, 2022

Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Kevin Durant has made his first public comments since he requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday.

The 12-time NBA All-Star posted a cryptic Twitter message Saturday morning:

Kevin Durant @KDTrey5

The ones who were locked in that gym with me know what it is, they know what I’m about. If u haven’t been in there with me, ask around

Durant's business manager, Rich Kleiman, confirmed to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski the Nets are working to find a trade partner, and Woj reported "more than half the teams in the NBA have already inquired" about what it would take to land KD.

Sometimes a team will push back if its best player wants a trade while under a long-term contract—Durant is signed through 2025-26 as part of a four-year, $194.2 million deal—but it doesn't appear that will be the case in this instance.

Joe Vardon of The Athletic reported Friday that Nets governor Joe Tsai had "reached his limit" following three drama-filled seasons since the arrival of Durant and Kyrie Irving in 2019.

"What Tsai will not do is demand Durant to honor his contract in Brooklyn. Because he's had enough," Vardon wrote.

The Nets were expected to take the NBA by storm with the combination of Durant and Irving, and those expectations exploded even further when the organization acquired James Harden in a January 2021 blockbuster trade with the Houston Rockets.

Instead of making a serious push toward a championship, a combination of injuries, wildly inconsistent play and Irving's limited appearances last season because of issues related to his unvaccinated status created a never-ending headache for the Brooklyn front office.

Harden lasted just a year with the organization before seeking an escape route, which was ultimately found with a trade to the Philadelphia 76ers in February.

Now it appears Durant and Irving will be following him out the door this summer.

Durant has always gone to great lengths to defend himself in the court of public opinion, including his infamous use of burner accounts, but there's no doubt the downfall of the Nets has been a collective effort.

Yet, Brooklyn drama aside, there's clearly no shortage of interest on the trade market, and his impending trade has the potential to shift the league's balance of power.

The 2013-14 NBA MVP is coming off a season where he averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 2.1 threes while shooting 51.8 percent from the field.

His future now becomes the biggest story of the offseason.

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