Windhorst: No 'Urgency' in Kevin Durant Trade Talks from Nets amid 76ers Rumors

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVAugust 15, 2022

Panagiotis Moschandreou/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets will not allow themselves to be bullied into trading Kevin Durant on his schedule.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst appeared Monday on Get Up (28-second mark) and indicated there has been zero progress in trade talks despite Durant attempting to exert pressure on the Nets behind the scenes:

"Ten days ago, Kevin Durant and Joe Tsai met in London. Durant really tried to apply the pressure by asking for Steve Nash and Sean Marks to get fired. And guess what has happened? Nothing. Nothing has happened. The dynamic around Kevin Durant hasn't changed at all. There hasn't been an urgency in trade talks. There hasn't been a change in strategy by the Brooklyn Nets.

"I think what we have here is really a study of leverage. First off, the Nets do not have leverage in trade talks with other teams. They are not giving them the offers that they want. They see no reason to increase them. And so they're not making any progress there. And Kevin Durant clearly does not have leverage with the Brooklyn Nets. He is asking for things: 'Get me traded. Fire the coach. Fire the GM.' He is being told no. So when you have denied leverage, you have a stalemate."

Durant originally requested a trade in late June. The situation has moved at a glacial pace in the ensuing weeks, with the Nets setting a massive price tag in trade talks and teams consistently falling short of those demands.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported last week that Durant met with Tsai earlier this month to again reiterate his desire for an exit or to have the team replace Nash as coach and Marks as general manager. Tsai went on the offensive on social media after word of that meeting leaked, saying he plans to stick by his coach and GM.

Joe Tsai @joetsai1999

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

Barring a team giving the Nets a more palatable offer, the tension may simmer on the backburner until training camp starts next month. That's the next time Durant can attempt to exert any power, potentially holding out of camp—or by showing up and creating a media circus.

Durant's best potential leverage play is, at this point, to make the situation as difficult as possible. By creating a constant distraction, Durant could force Tsai's hand into approving a deal simply to end the fiasco. If the Nets start acting with some level of urgency, it may create a bidding war to allow them to save some face in trade talks.

There is no way the Nets' original asking price of two All-Star players was ever going to be met. It was an unrealistic, pie-in-the-sky ask.

That said, teams may be willing to budge if they start to feel momentum is actually building to send Durant elsewhere. Until the pace of talks increases, there's no reason for teams to move off their already established offers.


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