After months of trade talks, Kevin Durant will now stay with the Brooklyn Nets after meeting with governors Joe and Clara Wu Tsai, general manager Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash:
It's a significant change after Durant initially requested a trade in June. The 12-time All-Star had met with Tsai earlier this month and reiterated his trade request, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Durant even reportedly provided an ultimatum to choose between him or Nash and Marks, but Tsai offered his support to the front office and coaching staff.
The two sides have apparently reconciled to keep Durant with Brooklyn ahead of the 2022-23 season.
The 33-year-old has four years remaining on his contract with the Nets and is coming off a strong individual season where he averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game. With four scoring titles and two Finals MVP Awards on his resume, the trade demand unsurprisingly caused a frenzy around the NBA.
Charania reported the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat were the top contenders to land Durant, although the Nets were seeking "an All-Star, other high-level players and draft picks" in return for the superstar.
No one matched the asking price, while other conversations around the league didn't gain much traction, per Charania.
NBA insider Marc Stein reported Monday the Nets were hoping Durant would "soften" his stance and return to the team.
The deliberate strategy has seemingly paid off as Brooklyn will keep one of the league's top players on the roster.
Even with an offseason of turmoil, the Nets should have high expectations heading into next season with Durant, Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons, three players with a combined 22 All-Star selections. Veterans Seth Curry and Patty Mills should also make an impact along with emerging young players like Nic Claxton and Cam Thomas.
Brooklyn only earned the seventh seed in the East last season before getting swept in the first round, but the team was rarely at full strength. Durant and Irving played just 17 games together, while Simmons was out the entire season.
If the Nets can stay healthy and committed, they will be a team to watch in 2022-23.