Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets appear to have rectified any rifts between them, with the team announcing Tuesday that the superstar forward would be returning after he previously demanded a trade.
And at least one person wasn't surprised in the least.
"Not at all," a general manager told Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. "The price was too high to trade."
Another general manager said he wasn't surprised that Durant wasn't willing to go the Ben Simmons route in his standoff with the Nets, i.e. holding out entirely and refusing to play, which Simmons did last season as he forced a move away from the Philadelphia 76ers.
"Kevin isn't cut out that way," the GM told Goodwill. "He loves to play basketball above and beyond. I could see [the Nets] getting in front of this issue they created."
It wasn't shocking that the Nets reportedly asked for everything under the sun for Durant, given that he is one of the best players in the NBA and is under contract for four more years. Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe reported earlier in August that they asked the Boston Celtics for both Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, which the Celtics rejected immediately.
That contract, in turn, limited Durant's leverage unless he was willing to sit out entirely.
Durant's return will be good news for a Nets team that brought him and Kyrie Irving aboard to win a title. But despite this reunion, there are serious questions regarding this team.
Will Durant be able to coexist with head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks after he reportedly requested they be fired? Does anybody ever know what to expect with Irving, especially in his final season under contract? When will Simmons actually play a basketball game again, and how will he fit in behind the star duo of Durant and Irving?
Tuesday's news provided a resolution to the biggest drama of the summer. But it hasn't answered whether this experiment in Brooklyn, after just one playoff series win in three seasons, will finally actually work.
Will this Nets team finally live up to the massive expectations that came along with Durant and Irving's arrival back in 2019? Or did they simply delay what may prove to be an inevitable divorce?