Kevin Durant may be a generational superstar, but one NBA front office member has suggested there could be concerns over his personality.
The NBA executive told Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today that Durant's history of unceremoniously leaving teams led to a tepid trade market for the Brooklyn Nets.
"Teams don’t want to overpay for someone who has proven he will burn your house down," the exec said.
Durant previously exited the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors franchises in an attempt to find his NBA Valhalla, but he did so both times within the generally accepted confines of free agency. The Brooklyn Nets were his first chosen destination that didn't already have a record-setting regular season baked in; it was his chance to carve out a legacy in the country's biggest city.
It took Durant three years to want out of that situation as well.
While the Nets were able to paper things over enough for Durant to return for the 2022-23 season, it's easy to see why teams would have some level of hesitation. If Durant was willing to demand a trade less than a year after signing a four-year extension, there was nothing stopping him from doing the same thing to them—after they'd already given up the assets necessary to acquire the 12-time All-Star.
James Harden just requested two trades in the span of 13 months; it isn't an unreasonable concern.
Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported the best offer the Nets received for Durant was Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and a future first-round pick. While Brown was the second-best player on an NBA Finals team last season, he's also a 26-year-old one-time All-Star. White is a solid-but-fungible role player. One first-round pick is arguably an insult in an era where the Utah Jazz got four for Rudy Gobert.
The Nets and Durant may publicly say all the right things moving forward, but KD is back in Brooklyn next season in large part because no one wanted him enough to make a palatable trade offer.