Kevin Durant trade request driving down Nets title chances

Kevin Durant Nets
Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) reacts as his team trails during the second half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics, Monday, April 25, 2022, in New York.
AP Photo/John Minchillo

The volatility in Brooklyn at the moment has not been kind to the Nets’ championship hopes and the oddsmakers are taking notice. 

As the Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving saga looks as though it could drag on through the summer, some of the biggest sportsbooks have already dropped their futures odds well outside of championship contender. Brooklyn had already seen its odds drop to +850 last week before Irving announced that he would opt into the final year of his contract. 

However,  the line on them has fallen even further after it became public that Durant had requested a trade out of Brooklyn. BetMGM has the Nets listed at +3500 to win the 2023 NBA title, while Ceaser and DraftKings have the odds sitting at +3000. 

FanDuel and PointsBet have them at +2700. 

It is a massive drop for a franchise that had opened at +600 after the Golden State Warriors took home the NBA crown this year. Even after the chaotic 2021-22 season that the Nets had, with Durant and Irving on their roster, it was hard to not look at them among title-contending teams for the 2022-23  campaign. 

The situation became a bit less set in stone as weeks and months went by and negotiation between Irving and the front office hit an impasse over a contract extension. That is when the first rumblings about Durant re-evaluating his future with the Nets started to percolate. 

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Irving announced the decision to opt-in last Monday, but three days later Durant’s feelings had become public knowledge. The Nets are expected to receive a massive haul in any deal involving the generational talent, but it would be hard to replace him with even the best of packages coming back to Brooklyn. 

It would likely explain the massive hit bookmakers have had on the Nets’ title chances for next season.  And even if the two do start the year in Brooklyn, there is no guarantee that both will finish out the season there or if both will play.