Just because Kevin Durant requested a trade away from the Brooklyn Nets doesn’t necessarily mean that the team is going to move him right away. In fact, the Nets are giving out the vibe that they’re willing to keep Durant if the offers for the superstar don’t improve, according to Brian Windhorst. Durant currently has four years remaining on his current contract, so the Nets technically don’t have to move him at all, and they certainly don’t have to rush to do so if they’re not happy with the offers they’re receiving.
Boy is that the vibe that’s coming out of Brooklyn right now, that they are prepared to [keep Durant and Kyrie Irving into next season]. This could be a negotiating position, or it could be a smart decision if you don’t like the trade offers that you have. The market for Durant has not been as lucrative as the Nets were hoping, and the market for Kyrie is very thin. It’s essentially the Lakers, and the trade offer isn’t great. If you don’t like what you have you just sort of close ranks and look at restarting it.
This vibes with a recent report from Bleacher Report that also suggests that the Nets are willing to play the slow game and hold onto their star(s) until an attractive enough offer comes along.
From Jake Fischer:
Despite Durant’s trade request from Brooklyn—mere hours before free agency commenced on June 30—the Nets are not operating with any sense of urgency to move Durant, sources told B/R. After a flurry of trade chatter heading into the holiday weekend, league personnel have begun discussing the potential for Brooklyn to retain Durant—as well as Kyrie Irving—into the regular season, should a commensurate package for the two-time Finals MVP never emerge.
There’s no pressure on Brooklyn. Durant has four more years remaining on his contract. And it will prove challenging, maybe even impossible, to find a trade partner that can meet Brooklyn’s lofty asking price for Durant, which is perceived to be at least one All-Star caliber talent and a surplus of draft capital, all while Durant’s new team still has enough firepower to support his championship aspirations. An All-NBA superstar requesting a trade, while still considered to be a top-five player in the league, is a virtually unprecedented event in league history.
None of this is especially surprising. Given the length of Durant’s current contract, the Nets are in control of the situation, and they’re obviously not going to rush into making a move or do a deal that they don’t find beneficial for them.
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With that said, there’s still several months until the 2022-23 season starts, so there’s still a whole lot of time for intriguing offers to emerge. Perhaps one will materialize and Durant will begin next season in a new uniform. If not, it will be extremely interesting to see how both sides operate if Durant is still on Brooklyn’s roster at the start of training camp.