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Nets' Joe Tsai: 'Very Clear' Kevin Durant Wants to Finish Career in Brooklyn

Nate Loop@Nate_LoopFeatured ColumnistOctober 1, 2021

Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant (7) during the first half of Game 7 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks Saturday, June 19, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

Brooklyn Nets governor Joe Tsai believes Kevin Durant is ready to spend the rest of his career with the team after signing a lucrative contract extension this summer.

"I’m not surprised. I think it’s very clear that Kevin wants to be in Brooklyn and wants to play out the rest of his career in Brooklyn, so the terms of the extension reflected that. And that’s also what we wanted to do. We want to be committed to Kevin and have him here for the long haul and as a cornerstone to build a team," said Tsai, per The Athletic's Alex Schiffer.

Durant's extension is a four-year deal worth $198 million, his agent Rich Kleiman told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski in August. After sitting out the 2019-20 season due to an Achilles injury, Durant came roaring back last year, averaging 26.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game.

While he did miss significant stretches last year due to COVID-19 protocols and a hamstring injury, Durant still managed to earn his 11th All-Star appearance. He also raised his game in the playoffs, leading the Nets to the Eastern Conference Finals and coming within inches of beating the Milwaukee Bucks in that series despite injuries to James Harden and Kyrie Irving.

Adam Hunger/Associated Press
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With Durant, 33, under contract for the next few years, the Nets are in good shape to remain title contenders. Both Harden and Irving are returning to the team for the upcoming campaign, but they have player options for the 2022-23 season. If the Nets can't hang onto either of those players long-term, Durant's presence will help the organization attract other talent.

Durant's durability will remain a concern because of his significant injury history, but when he's on the court, he's as good as any scorer the league has ever had. He also has a wealth of playoff experience, having won championships with the Golden State Warriors in 2017 and 2018. Durant was named Finals MVP in both of those series.

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