Nets playing the long game when it comes to Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving trades

Nets Kevin Durant Kyrie Irving
FILE – Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) and Kevin Durant react against the Boston Celtics in the second half of Game 5 during an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, June 1, 2021, in New York.
AP Photo/Adam Hunger, File

The only fireworks over the long holiday weekend were the ones in the sky and not via a blockbuster deal involving Kevin Durant or the Brooklyn Nets.

Five days after Durant’s request to be moved out of Brooklyn became public, the NBA superstar remained a Net. And that might not be changing as quickly as some may have thought. 

Reports from both the New York Post and ESPN have suggested that the Nets feel that they have the leverage in their current situations with Durant and fellow superstar Kyrie Irving. It was also intimated that things could drag on all the way into training camp. 

“They don’t have to trade (Durant or Irving),” Adrian Wojnarowski said during a weekend appearance on ESPN. “They’re both under contract. They could bring them back to start the season. I don’t think that’s the ideal scenario for Brooklyn. I think it’s trying to find get the biggest haul of assets they can but again, there’s a lot of time left in this off-season and a lot more talks that are coming.”

The Nets indeed do have the leverage in both scenarios, with Durant locked up for four years and Irving having opted into the final year of his deal with Brooklyn last week, but considering the circumstances, it would be hard to imagine both players back. Brooklyn did add a pair of players on Tuesday that would suggest that they could be preparing for a season with their two superstars still on their roster.

Whether that is a negotiating tactic or not is hard to say, but Brooklyn’s front office is hoping to get as good a deal for either player as they can out of the situation, if this is indeed the end of the “7-11 era” in Kings County. Durant is still reportedly eying Phoenix or Miami as his preferred destinations and whispers continue to swirl around Irving possibly reuniting with LeBron James in Hollywood. 

Suffice to say, 29 teams have called to inquire about the services of  Durant, but general manager Sean Marks doesn’t appear to be in a hurry to make a move that won’t bring back the maximum return. NBA insider  Shams Charania reported during an appearance on the Pat Mcafee show that a deal for Durant could take the summer to happen and that Toronto, Golden State, Miami and Phoenix had all inquired about the superstar. 

He also threw some water on the Irving to LA rumors, saying that he doubted it would happen and that they had no traction. 

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How things ultimately play out in the end for all parties involved is one that the basketball world is waiting to see. Durant’s trade request sent shockwaves out, especially after Irving had opted in days prior and it looked as though the offseason drama had come to an end. 

The Nets now find themselves in an even more dramatic situation with potentially both its superstars on the way out or locked in a toxic environment come training camp in October.