Durant requested a trade from the franchise prior to the start of free agency, but Brooklyn isn’t going to trade the two-time NBA Finals MVP without getting a massive haul in return.
“And league personnel say the Nets have implied if they don’t get what they want, this could well drag on into training camp,” the New York Post’s Brian Lewis wrote.
Durant is under contract with the Nets through the 2025-26 season. While he may no longer want to play for the Nets, Brooklyn still has leverage on other teams.
Things are a little trickier with Irving, who opted into his player option for the 2022-23 season earlier this offseason.
Irving has just one year remaining on his deal, which could significantly limit the return for the Nets in a trade.
There’s no doubt that the trade market is robust for Durant, but contending teams are going to try to add him to their current cores rather than shake up their rosters to acquire him. That puts the Nets in a precarious position, as they surely want to maximize their return for the former league MVP.
The 12-time All-Star averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game last season for Brooklyn and has proven he is still one of the game’s best scorers.
While the Nets may be content letting this drag on into training camp, the team has to be smart about how it approaches the next few seasons since it sent many of its future draft picks to the Houston Rockets in a trade for James Harden.
Brooklyn can’t afford to tank and not get major returns for both of its superstars prior to the start of the 2022-23 regular season.