Despite there being no current signs that Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant will rescind his trade request, the team remains hopeful that the veteran will make that decision.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe looked at the possibility of Durant being dealt and pointed out some key factors in the matter.
“Even before the Minnesota Timberwolves warped the trade market by flipping five draft assets for Rudy Gobert, several smart people around the league termed the very act of trading Durant ‘impossible’ in conversations with ESPN,” Lowe wrote. “There was no way to approximate fair value. A player of Durant’s caliber with so many years locked in had never before become available.
“The Nets are probably waiting for Durant’s camp to realize that, and maybe for Durant to retract his trade request. The Nets have not given up on this scenario, sources say.
“Suitors are waiting to see if Brooklyn concludes that kind of reunion is not possible. Durant could accelerate that process by publicly or privately explaining his trade request, and emphasizing he will not back off. Would such a stance mean sitting out — as Ben Simmons did last season? I don’t know. League insiders repeat the trope that Durant ‘is not wired that way’ — that he loves the game too much. But that is speculation. Time will tell.”
Durant made his request earlier this offseason, which set off a whirlwind of activity among teams trying to put together the makings of a blockbuster deal.
Even though Durant turns 34 in September and is due a massive amount of money over the next four seasons, he’s still seen as an elite player.
Evidence of what Durant can deliver to a team can be seen in his numbers from the 2021-22 regular season. In 55 games for the Nets, he averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game
That level of production explains why the Nets are willing to be patient with any deal involving the superstar. As Lowe noted, Durant could also conceivably sit out games during the 2022-23 season to try to force the Nets’ hand.
The Nets undoubtedly want to avoid a repeat of the off-the-court headaches that ruined their 2021-22 season.
Those headaches included the refusal of Kyrie Irving to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The team also dealt with the absence of Simmons after he was traded to the Nets before the deadline.
In this particular instance, patience might be a virtue that undergoes a severe test when it comes to the Nets.