“Kevin Durant managed to checkmate a billionaire”
Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant’s summer just got more interesting after a one-on-one meeting with franchise owner Joe Tsai. Durant submitted a trade application earlier this summer. He listed the Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns as favorite destinations.
The meeting between KD and Joe Tsai ended with the two-time Finals MVP reiterating his trade request. The superstar also reportedly offered Joe Tsai an ultimatum. He wants the Nets to either let general manager Sean Marks and coach Steve Nash go or trade him.
On “First Things First,” NBA analyst Nick Wright said Durant had managed to checkmate a billionaire (Joe Tsai). Wright also said he put coach Steve Nash in a precarious position with his ultimatum.
“I think Kevin Durant has managed to checkmate a billionaire. I think Kevin Durant is doing this, although I understand it might be unpopular, and I understand it’s going to cause a lot of hurt feelings, including part of Steve Nash who was his hand-chosen coach, but KD has now guaranteed he’ll be traded, and that’s what he wants,” Wright said.
KD forces a trade, but the leverage stays with the Nets as Durant has four years left on his deal. Durant signed a four-year contract worth more than $190 million last year and won’t enter free agency until the summer of 2026.
Will Kevin Durant get his shot?
As mentioned above, Kevin Durant’s favorite landing spots are the Miami Heat and the Phoenix Suns. However, a move to one of these franchises seems unlikely. The Suns can’t include Deandre Ayton in a package until January. It’s unthinkable for the Nets to make a deal with Phoenix without the center.
The Miami Heat, on the other hand, can package Tyler Herro, Kyle Lowry and Duncan Robinson. But the Nets want an All-Star in exchange for KD. The Heat can’t wrap Bam Adebayo in a trade deal unless the Nets get Ben Simmons off their books. Brooklyn cannot have two designated rookie expansion players acquired through trade.
This situation leaves the Boston Celtics in control as they can afford to part ways with Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown. However, according to recent reports, the Nets won’t agree to this deal unless they add Marcus Smart and draft capital.
Regardless, Durant is staying with the Brooklyn Nets for the time being. Although the summer is long, it may well carry over to training camp.