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NBA Rumors: Nets 'Have Not Given Up' on Kevin Durant Retracting Trade Request

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 30, 2022

Kevin Durant (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The Brooklyn Nets have reportedly "not given up" on the possibility superstar forward Kevin Durant will rescind his trade request before the 2022-23 NBA season.

ESPN's Zach Lowe reported Saturday league sources believed it was "impossible" to deal Durant at a fair price, and that was before the Minnesota Timberwolves dealt four first-round draft picks and a pick swap as part of a trade with the Utah Jazz for center Rudy Gobert.

That'll make it even harder for Brooklyn to receive market value for KD, and the team's front office is "probably waiting for Durant's camp to realize that" amid sluggish trade talks, per Lowe.

The NBA trade market has basically come to a halt since the Gobert blockbuster because the price Minnesota paid for the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year is a factor in the values of other available players.

That group includes Durant and Donovan Mitchell, Gobert's former Jazz teammate, but there's been little sign of progress in either situation.

While there's no doubting Gobert's defensive impact and efficient offensive contributions, he's still an old-school center in a modern NBA dominated by wings, guards and more versatile bigs. He didn't receive a single MVP vote last season.

So if he's worth five key draft assets, what's the value of a former MVP like Durant, who's under contract through the 2025-26 campaign?

Fred Katz of The Athletic reported Friday league-wide trade discussions have stalled because asking prices are approaching "objectively nonsensical" levels in wake of the Gobert deal, and it may reach a point where the "market collapses in on itself."

The allure of Durant or Mitchell is obvious, but if a team has to trade away its roster depth and several years worth of first-rounders for a player who will also take up a large portion of a team's expenditure, will there be enough resources left to build a consistent championship squad around them? It's hard to say.

That same line of thought is going on in NBA front offices.

SNY's Ian Begley reported in mid-July the New York Knicks, who were heavily linked to Mitchell, are "wary" of the sky-high asking price because they were worried "there wouldn't be enough left on the roster to field a contending team."

Durant may still be on the Nets when training camp begins, at which point he must decide whether to rescind the request or embark on an extended holdout in an effort to force a deal.

The latter approach may work because the Nets likely want to avoid another drama-filled season, but his long-term contract limits the leverage.

For now, Brooklyn is apparently waiting to see Durant whether he changes his mind and decides to remain with the franchise for at least another year.

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