Stein: Kevin Durant Trade from Nets Might Not Happen as 'Quickly as the Masses Hope'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJuly 3, 2022

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 02: Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets reacts during the second half against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena on April 2, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. 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 Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
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The NBA's biggest story might not be wrapping up soon.

NBA insider Marc Stein reported the consensus around the league is that the Brooklyn Nets will eventually trade Kevin Durant in a deal that could involve at least three teams. However, the resolution "might not come to fruition as quickly as the masses hope."

Stein added Brooklyn is "incentivized to be a bit patient to ensure it secures the optimal trade package for the ages."

Once the initial shock of Durant's reported trade request wore off, the reality of the situation began to settle in.

Durant is one of the best players in the NBA, and he's under contract for four more seasons.

The saga could drag on for weeks or even months because the Nets only have one shot at collecting a haul that will chart the future for the organization. The short-term pain of disrupting any offseason plans or letting things get tense with Durant is worth the long-term benefit of ensuring the trade yields the strongest possible outcome.

There's also the fact that finding a home for Ben Simmons might be a requisite to making a Durant trade happen.

Fans have become very familiar with the NBA's designated rookie rule in recent days. Under the collective bargaining agreement, a team can trade for two players who signed a five-year maximum contract off their rookie deal before hitting free agency.

That takes some possible trade targets off the table, most notably the Miami Heat's Bam Adebayo, Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker and Utah Jazz's Donovan Mitchell. Zion Williamson would be out of the mix as well after agreeing to a five-year designated max contract with the New Orleans Pelicans.

Sending Simmons elsewhere would solve that problem, and it's something that will require plenty of negotiation given how much his stock has fallen off.