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Kevin Durant Trade Rumors: Teams Didn't Make 'Roster-Gutting' Offers to Nets

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 24, 2022

Kevin Durant (Al Bello/Getty Images)

Kevin Durant spent nearly two months on the trade block, but the type of offers the Brooklyn Nets expected reportedly never arrived.

"From June 30 until yesterday, the Nets were no closer to a trade for Kevin Durant and there really was not a deal on the horizon for him," ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday on Get Up. "They did wait this out, they had a very high threshold for a deal. And I think somewhat to the surprise of Brooklyn and to Kevin Durant, teams did not make the kind of roster-gutting offers that was necessary to trade a player of his stature."

KD requested a trade June 30, and his availability was the NBA offseason's biggest story until the Nets announced Tuesday the sides "agreed to move forward with [their] partnership."

A perfect storm of circumstances led to Durant staying with the Nets, at least for now.

The biggest factor was the Minnesota Timberwolves' blockbuster trade to acquire center Rudy Gobert from the Utah Jazz. They gave up five players and five draft picks—four first-rounders and a pick swap—to acquire the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

Gobert is an impact player, but he's not on the same level as Durant since he's an old-school center in a modern game dominated by guards, wings and more versatile bigs.

So the Nets couldn't realistically deal KD for less than the package the Jazz received, especially since the 12-star All-Star is under contract through 2025-26.

In July, Fred Katz of The Athletic reported the asking prices for marquee players reached "objectively nonsensical" levels, and it was trending toward a situation where the "market collapses in on itself."

Based on the lack of movement on the Durant front, it appears that's exactly what happened. It'll probably take until next summer for the market to fully correct itself.

Now the question is what will come of the Nets during the upcoming campaign.

From a talent perspective, they should be a championship contender with Durant, Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons joined by a group of role players led by Joe Harris, Seth Curry, Cam Thomas, Patty Mills and Nicolas Claxton.

Brooklyn also figures to add some veteran frontcourt depth now that it knows a roster tear down isn't on the imminent horizon, which will help round out the roster.

Yet, it's impossible to know whether the Nets can live up to their potential after the first three years of the Durant-Irving era were derailed by injuries and internal strife.

Answers will begin to arrive when the team tips off the regular season on Oct. 19 against the New Orleans Pelicans.

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