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NBA GM Thinks Nets' Kevin Durant Could Be Traded by Deadline 'If It Doesn't Go Well'

Adam WellsAugust 30, 2022

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Even though the Brooklyn Nets and Kevin Durant worked out their differences, not everyone in the NBA is convinced the two-time Finals MVP will be with the team for the entire 2022-23 season.

One Eastern Conference general manager told Fox Sports' Ric Bucher that Durant could be moved before the trade deadline.

"I think the Nets simply told him, 'There's not a deal we're happy with, and we're not just going to give you away,'" the GM said. "I think he'll still get moved by the trade deadline if it doesn't go well. That may have even been part of the deal, a soft agreement that they'll move him if it's not working."

Durant's business partner, Rich Kleiman, told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on June 30 that Durant had informed the Nets he wanted to be traded.

Things seemed to spiral out of control with Brooklyn after that. Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported Aug. 8 that Durant told Nets governor Joe Tsai to either trade him or fire head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks.

Tsai responded to the report on Twitter:

Joe Tsai @joetsai1999

Our front office and coaching staff have my support. We will make decisions in the best interest of the Brooklyn Nets.

In a statement Aug. 23, the Nets said they had "agreed to move forward with our partnership" with Durant:

Brooklyn Nets @BrooklynNets

<a href="https://t.co/wQfhrKqUeM">pic.twitter.com/wQfhrKqUeM</a>

The Nets reportedly received trade offers for Durant, but none of them were satisfactory enough to get them to agree to move the 12-time All-Star.

Charania noted the Boston Celtics were "viewed across the league" as having the right mix of players and draft picks to land Durant, but the Nets wanted Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, draft picks and "potentially one more rotation player."

The Phoenix Suns, who were also heavily linked to Durant, could get back in the mix if he becomes available. Deandre Ayton will be eligible to be traded Jan. 15 after he signed a four-year, $133 million extension in July.

Of course, any speculation now will be moot if the Nets look like a strong playoff contender by the time the trade deadline arrives. Their roster has terrific upside with Durant, Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons, Joe Harris, Seth Curry and Royce O'Neale.

Durant is entering the first season of a four-year, $194.2 million extension he signed last August. The 33-year-old averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game in 55 starts during the 2021-22 campaign.

The Nets made the playoffs as the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference, but they were swept in the first round by the Celtics.

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