Woj: Nets 'Were Not Close' on Kevin Durant Trade Before Star Pulled Request

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVAugust 23, 2022

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The Brooklyn Nets shopped Kevin Durant around the NBA for nearly two months before the 12-time All-Star decided he wanted to stay put.

It seems the team hadn't made any progress on a deal since Durant's trade request.

"Brooklyn was not close to a trade for Kevin Durant," ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said Tuesday on SportsCenter. "The trade market, I think, for both Kevin Durant and the Nets was not what they all thought it might be.

Durant initially requested a trade in late June during a conversation with Nets governor Joe Tsai. The front office instantly began fielding offers but set a massive asking price—one it appeared no team was coming close to approaching.

While Durant attempted to exert pressure on Tsai, requesting the dismissal of coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks, the Nets listened to exactly zero of his demands. Durant then met with Tsai, Marks and Nash this week in Los Angeles, apparently hashing things out and agreeing to return for the 2022-23 season.

Wojnarowski noted that a combination of factors led to Durant rescinding his trade request, most notably his inability to choose his destination. The Nets had full power to take the best offer on the table regardless of Durant's desires, potentially landing him with a team less capable of winning a championship.

Brooklyn will go into the 2022-23 campaign with arguably the NBA's best Big Three in Durant, Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons. Barring a trade to Phoenix—an initial suitor that lost steam after having to match an offer sheet for Deandre Ayton—there were few teams that give Durant better potential co-stars.

Wojnarowski highlighted Durant's desire to squash the situation before training camp so he could remove the outside distractions and focus on basketball. It's unlikely the media buzz will die down anytime soon, but outside pressures could quiet if the Nets get off to a hot start.


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