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Windhorst: Kevin Durant Hurt His Trade Value by Giving Nets' Joe Tsai an Ultimatum

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVAugust 9, 2022

Elsa/Getty Images

If Kevin Durant's ultimate goal is to be traded away from the Brooklyn Nets, he apparently didn't help himself with his reported ultimatum.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Durant met with Nets governor Joe Tsai and said Brooklyn needs to either fire the combination of head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks or trade him.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported Tuesday the move didn't help Durant's trade value, suggesting he "has very much limited his options" while adding, "as I talked to teams out there, they don't think this increased his trade value. They think this hurt his trade value."

NBA on ESPN @ESPNNBA

.<a href="https://twitter.com/WindhorstESPN?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WindhorstESPN</a> thinks KD may have hurt his own trade chances 👀<br><br>"Kevin Durant ... in my view has very much limited his options." <a href="https://t.co/Aj2aMQRily">pic.twitter.com/Aj2aMQRily</a>

Tsai notably responded to the report with a tweet offering support to Nash and Marks and saying the plan is to "make decisions in the best interest of the Brooklyn Nets."

Joe Tsai @joetsai1999

Our front office and coaching staff have my support. We will make decisions in the best interest of the Brooklyn Nets.

That Durant is apparently done playing for Nash was something of a surprise considering their relationship seemed to be strong in the past. They bonded when Nash was a special adviser for the Golden State Warriors, and Durant even publicly supported his coach after last season's playoff loss.

"Steve has been dealt a crazy hand the last two years," Durant told reporters in April when saying he was the right coach for the team.

Windhorst reflected on the timing of the latest development.

"The timing of it is also unusual," he said. "While star players have gotten coaches fired for decades and will get them fired for decades, he didn't express this, as far as I'm aware, to the Nets at the end of the season. And he didn't express this to the Nets when he made his trade demand. So doing it now is a maneuver. A maneuver that I don't think worked."

It has seemingly always been something with the Nets of late, whether it was Kyrie Irving missing most of the 2021-22 campaign because he was unvaccinated against COVID-19, trading James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers to break up a superstar trio that rarely got to play together or seeing Ben Simmons not take the court at all after he came to Brooklyn in that deal.

The team was swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs and now has something of a mess on its hands with the Durant situation.

That the ultimatum reportedly hurts his trade value makes life more difficult for the front office, which Charania reported already set a "sky-high threshold for the return" in any Durant deal.

An offer that was good enough in Brooklyn's eyes to accept hasn't happened yet, which could create something of an awkward situation when the season starts if Durant is still on the roster and Nash is still the head coach.

His trade value is likely also somewhat diminished by the fact he turns 34 years old next month and has dealt with durability issues of late while missing the 2019-20 campaign, playing 35 games in 2020-21 and playing 55 games last season.

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