Kevin Durant will be continuing his career as a member of the Brooklyn Nets. On Tuesday morning, the Nets announced that Durant and the organization have agreed to move forward together. Durant requested a trade away from Brooklyn on June 30, right before the start of NBA free agency, but the Nets didn’t have success finding a deal that they found suitable.
The Nets held an incredibly steep asking price for Durant over the summer, and although many teams – including the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Memphis Grizzlies, Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors — were interested in his services, most were hesitant to offer too big of a package to Brooklyn, as doing so would leave their remaining roster decimated.
Despite the lack of progress on a potential deal, Durant maintained his desire to be traded throughout the offseason. But, now he’s apparently comfortable remaining with the Nets, for the time-being at least. The star forward has four years remaining on his current contract.
Here’s the statement from Nets general manager Sean Marks:
“Steve Nash and I, together with Joe Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai, met with Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman in Los Angeles yesterday. We have agreed to move forward with our partnership. We are focusing on basketball, with one collective goal in mind: build a lasting franchise to bring a championship to Brooklyn.”
With Durant staying put and joining Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons on the roster, the Nets are immediately back in the contender conversation in the Eastern Conference. After all, any team that Durant is on has a chance to make some real noise, as he remains arguably the deadliest offensive weapon in the NBA. Caesars Sportsbook listed the Nets with the third-best NBA title odds (+800) shortly after the team’s Tuesday announcement.
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That doesn’t mean that things will be completely smooth in Brooklyn moving forward, however. A reconciliation period will likely be necessary, especially after Durant asked for both Nash and Marks to be fired. Now, those guys will have to find a way to work together if the Nets are going to find success.
With Durant in tow, the Nets will be looking to improve upon their finish last season, which saw them get swept in the first round by the Boston Celtics. For a team with championship aspirations, that was obviously a very underwhelming conclusion. Perhaps now they’ll be able to put all of the drama behind them and focus on basketball. The Nets will open up their regular season against the New Orleans Pelicans on Oct. 19.