NBA Execs: Kevin Durant Trade Talks Complicated by High Price Rudy Gobert Commanded

Doric SamAugust 24, 2022

ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images

Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant decided to rescind his trade request and move forward with the team on Tuesday, but many are still wondering why it was so difficult to find a trade for the 12-time All-Star.

Michael Scotto of HoopsHype heard from multiple executives that the trade between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz for Rudy Gobert had a significant impact on the Nets' approach to trade discussions for Durant.

"The Nets weren’t going to get anything close to what they wanted, so the best thing for them to do was salvage the relationship," an Eastern Conference general manager said. "After the Rudy Gobert trade, they would’ve had to get more for Durant."

The Timberwolves sent the Jazz a total of four first-round draft picks, a pick swap and five players in exchange for Gobert. While the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year will likely be a difference-maker for Minnesota, the compensation sent back to Utah received some scrutiny.

Scotto noted that "numerous" executives around the NBA believe the Gobert trade "made it harder" for Brooklyn to move Durant.

"The draft pick compensation Utah received from Minnesota was considered such a lopsided haul for Utah around the league that if the Nets got anything less than that for Durant, Brooklyn’s front office would’ve looked foolish, according to numerous rival executives," Scotto wrote.

While many teams around the league had interest in acquiring Durant, the Nets made minimal progress in trade discussions because of their high asking price.

"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."

Now that Durant is committed to the team once again, Brooklyn is considered to be among the favorites to represent the East in the NBA Finals this upcoming season. Still, one has to wonder just how historic the haul would've been in a trade for the 2014 NBA MVP.


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