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Kevin Durant Trade Rumors: Nets 'Looking to Drive the Market' and Avoid Camp Holdout

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 26, 2022

Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets are reportedly aiming to "drive the market" toward a blockbuster Kevin Durant trade sooner rather than later.

Jared Weiss of The Athletic reported Tuesday the Nets want to avoid the "kerfuffle" that could arise should KD opt to skip training camp if he's still on the team's roster ahead of the 2022-23 NBA season.

Durant requested a trade from Brooklyn in late June, and the 12-time All-Star listed the Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns among the preferred destinations, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

While Phoenix is likely out of the running after matching an offer sheet from the Indiana Pacers for center Deandre Ayton, which limits its financial flexibility, Miami could still potentially make something work.

Weiss listed the Heat, Boston Celtics, New Orleans Pelicans and Toronto Raptors as teams with the contender-level rosters and trade assets necessary to potentially satisfy both Durant and the Nets' front office.

The idea Brooklyn is rushing to find a solution as quickly as possible is different than previous reporting since the trade request, though.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported July 13 that "the vibe" around the Nets suggested the franchise was prepared to keep both Durant and Kyrie Irving if the right offers didn't arrive before the new season.

Irving can become a free agent after the 2022-23 campaign, so Brooklyn would obviously prefer to recoup some assets for him if it's heading toward a rebuild, but there isn't similar time pressure with Durant, who's under contract through 2025-26.

Although the prospect of a training camp holdout isn't ideal, the Nets can't afford to get these trades wrong. Falling short in the deals for KD and Irving, and possibly Ben Simmons if they decide to tear the roster down completely, would set the franchise back years.

General manager Sean Marks and Co. must thread the needle between finding a way to move on from a drama-filled couple of years and not getting fleeced for a perennial MVP candidate.

So far, there's been nothing to suggest any trades are imminent with a little under two months until training camp typically kicks off in mid-September.

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