Just when it looked as though the Nets drama might be over, another bombshell gets dropped.
Superstar Kevin Durant has requested a trade out of Brooklyn, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes both reported on Thursday. The news comes just days after Kyrie Irving opted into the final year of his contract with the Nets and seemed to end what had been a dramatic start to one of the most important offseasons in some time for Brooklyn.
The Nets are now preparing to move one of the NBA’s biggest superstars, which ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting means that the entire roster will be available in deals. Among the preferred destinations, the Phoenix Suns are one of Durant’s preferred landing spots.
The Miami Heat have also been named as another destination, according to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer.
General manager Sean Marks is working with Durant and his business manager Rich Kleiman to find a trade for the NBA superstar, according to Wojnarowski. The Dallas Mavericks are also expected to pursue Durant now that he is on the trade block.
Rumblings over Durant’s future with the organization started to appear after the Nets were unceremoniously eliminated from the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics. Things heated up as reports indicated that Durant had not been in contact with the Nets front office and earlier this week The Ringer’s Logan Murdock said during a podcast that the 12-time NBA All-Star had lost confidence in the front office.
The irony of Thursday’s news is that it came on the same day that Irving and Durant first arrived in Brooklyn. Three years later one, possibly both, could be on the way out.
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Durant had arrived in Brooklyn with Irving dreaming of winning multiple titles, but the organization fell short of the lofty goals over the three years. The Nets lost in the semifinals in 2021 and then were swept out of the first round this past year.
Injuries and off-the-court drama kept Durant, Irving and James Harden — before he was traded — from playing much together.
In two seasons on the court with the Nets, Durant has been the franchise’s cornerstone player. He averaged 28.7 points per game during that time while playing 35.6 minutes a game and essentially carried the Nets this past season.
Durant signed a four-year, $194 million contract extension with Brooklyn last offseason.