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Kevin Durant Rumors: Star Expected to Remain with Nets Beyond 2023

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIAugust 23, 2022

Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets announced Tuesday that they will "move forward with our partnership" with star Kevin Durant, who had previously requested a trade.

Brooklyn Nets @BrooklynNets

<a href="https://t.co/wQfhrKqUeM">pic.twitter.com/wQfhrKqUeM</a>

That reportedly means Durant and the Nets plan to stick it out together past this upcoming season, per Brian Lewis of the New York Post.

Brian Lewis @NYPost_Lewis

"We want to build a lasting franchise, so this is not just about this year," said a <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Nets?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Nets</a> source. The LA meeting included not just Durant, Sean Marks and Steve Nash, but also KD's business partner Rich Kleiman, as well as team owner Joe Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBA?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBA</a>

Durant is currently signed with the Nets through 2025-26.

Months of trade talks and rumors ultimately led to nothing in Brooklyn. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski summed up the proceedings and provided an apt comparison:

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

In the end, Kevin Durant and the Nets played out in a similar way to Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in 2007: A tumultuous summer after a trade request, talks with teams, no deal and ultimately a decision to return to the franchise.

Fellow Nets star Kyrie Irving, who was also the subject of trade rumors, has already committed to the Nets in 2022-23, per Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic.

"All-Star Kyrie Irving also opted into his $37 million player option, committed to the 2022-23 season in Brooklyn and sources with knowledge of the situation say he has been working out with teammates and holding constructive dialogue with the organization this offseason. Brooklyn has made clear to interested teams that they plan to keep the seven-time All-Star, according to sources."

They'll join forces with three-time All-Star Ben Simmons, who the Nets acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers on Feb. 10 in a blockbuster trade involving James Harden. Simmons did not play with Brooklyn last year because of a back injury that eventually led to surgery. He will be ready for training camp in September, per Lewis.

The Nets endured a tumultuous 2021-22 season that ended with a first-round playoff sweep at the hands of the eventual Eastern Conference-champion Boston Celtics. They'll hope for a brighter future in 2022-23 when they open the season on Oct. 19 versus the New Orleans Pelicans.

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