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Kevin Durant Trade Rumors: Nets 'Are Not Aggressively' Making Calls to Teams

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJuly 20, 2022

AP Photo/John Minchillo

Trade discussions surrounding Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant have "slowed to a trickle," according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst.

Windhorst reported Wednesday on Get Up the Nets "are not aggressively" reaching out to teams around the league. He added that Durant has had "sparse" contact with teammates and outside players.

As a result, Brooklyn has had a difficult time understanding the motivations behind his trade request.

The New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy first reported July 12 that Durant and his agent, Rich Kleiman, had "recently" gotten in contact with the Nets. Still, they were largely in the dark:

"As far as preparation and timing, the Nets have leverage. A source said the team was aware of Durant's unhappiness but surprised by his trade request. The assumption is Irving's contract drama played a major role in Durant's discontent, but the Nets haven't been told specific reasons, a source said. Another possibility for Durant's disapproval: the team released assistant coach Adam Harrington, a favorite of Durant's going back to their time together in OKC."

As a result, people are left to try and connect the dots.

ESPN's Dave McMenamin reported July 18 on The Lowe Post (via Dan Feldman of Pro Basketball Talk) that there are some who believe Durant requested a trade to hasten Kyrie Irving's exit from the team.

Irving and Durant were a package deal when they arrived in Brooklyn, but after last year, one couldn't blame KD if he wanted to sever their partnership. Irving's decision not to get the COVID-19 vaccine created unnecessary drama for the Nets and prevented them from building the kind of continuity on the court that was required to make a championship push.

Why Durant wants out could be irrelevant because the glacial pace at which trade negotiations have advanced illustrates how difficult this will be to pull off.

Because Durant is signed for four years, Brooklyn holds all of the cards. General manager Sean Marks doesn't need to rush into an agreement, and keeping the 12-time All-Star on the roster is preferable to moving him at a loss. That would set the organization back years since this trade is likely going to reshape the Nets' future moving forward.

The New York Post's Brian Lewis reported on July 12 that "there is increasing sentiment among league personnel" that Durant, Irving and perhaps even both will open training camp with the Nets.

With how little the situation has evolved since then, it might have been a bit too early to write the eulogies for the KD/Kyrie era in Brooklyn.

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