Kevin Durant on Nets Contract Extension, Suns Trade: 'I Don't Regret Nothing'March 2, 2023
After playing in his first game with the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night, Kevin Durant isn't apologizing for the circumstances that ultimately led to him being in this position on a new team less than two years after signing a four-year extension with the Brooklyn Nets.
Speaking to Yahoo Sports' Vincent Goodwill, Durant said: "I don't regret nothing. Nothing I do in my life I regret. [Not] signing an extension worth that much money?"
The Nets seemed like they were setting themselves up to be a dominant team for a long time when they acquired James Harden in January 2021 to play with Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Durant re-signed with the Nets on a four-year, $194 million contract in August 2021. The terms of the deal were surprising because it didn't include any opt-outs, keeping him under team control through the 2025-26 season.
Things quickly unraveled for the Nets for a variety of reasons, including injuries and Irving's refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccine, which prevented him from playing in home games for most of the 2021-22 season.
Harden was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers six months after Durant signed his extension. Irving, who tried to seek a sign-and-trade deal during the offseason, opted into the final year of his contract when no offers materialized.
Durant asked the Nets for a trade in June, but the team remained steadfast in its desire to keep him and try to win this season. Irving was suspended for eight games after using social media to post a link to a film with antisemitic messaging and refusing to apologize.
After failed contract negotiations with the Nets, Irving requested a trade and was dealt to the Dallas Mavericks on Feb. 6. The trade left Durant in a position where he would be the only All-Star on the Nets' roster in a deep Eastern Conference.
Rather than see what the new-look Brooklyn roster with Dorian Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie could do playing with him, Durant once again requested a trade, with the Suns as his preferred destination.
Phoenix was able to strike a deal for the two-time NBA Finals MVP that sent Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, four first-round draft picks and a pick swap to the Nets.
After almost two full years of drama and headlines involving the Nets, Durant gets a fresh start as he tries to help the Suns win a championship.
Wednesday marked Durant's first game since Jan. 8 after his recovery from a sprained MCL. He looked to be in fine form with 23 points on 10-of-15 shooting and six rebounds in 27 minutes in the Suns' 105-91 win over the Charlotte Hornets.