Kevin Durant gives Nets owner Joe Tsai ultimatum: Fire Nash, Marks or trade me

Kevin Durant Winners and losers from NBA Free Agency
FILE – Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant is shown during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers at the Barclays Center, Sunday, Apr. 10, 2022, in New York.
AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File

It wouldn’t be the Nets offseason if there wasn’t a dramatic twist or turn and Monday there was another one involving superstar Kevin Durant. 

The disgruntled Net met with team owner Joe Tsai over the weekend and reportedly gave him an ultimatum. Durant told Tsai during a meeting in London that Brooklyn needs to trade him or let go of head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks, The Athletic’s Shams Charania

Durant had requested to be traded in June, but so far the team has not been able to come up with a deal that they’ve felt is suitable for a player of KD’s caliber. The Nets have reportedly received several trade offers, but have turned them down. 

While there had been some outside hope that the meeting could help rebuild whatever bridges had been burned between Durant and the Nets, it appears the new information suggests that Durant’s mind hasn’t been changed. The superstar reportedly does not have faith in the team’s direction and the face-to-face meeting with Tsai was described as “transparent and professional.”

The ultimatum puts Tsai in an awkward position between choosing between his cornerstone player and the two men he tapped to lead the Nets. It also comes four months removed from his perceived endorsement of Nash after the Nets’ first-round exit from the playoffs. 

“I mean, come on, now,” Durant said when asked if Nash still had his support after Game 4 in April. “Yeah. Steve’s been dealt a crazy hand the last two years. He’s had to deal with so much stuff as a head coach, a first-time coach: trades, injuries, COVID, it’s just a lot of stuff he’s had to deal with and I’m proud of how he’s focused and his passion for us. We all continue to keep developing over the summer and see what happens.”

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What has changed between now and then is unclear, but the Nets are said to have direct knowledge for the reasons why Durant wants out of Brooklyn. It’s also raised the question of whether or not he would report to training camp if he isn’t dealt before the season. 

As of now, the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat remain significant contenders to work out a deal for Durant.