Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets meet and agree to’move forward’
According to a statement released by Sean Marks, the general manager of the Nets, Kevin Durant will not be leaving Brooklyn.
In a statement, Marks said, “[Coach] Steve Nash and I, together with [governors] Joe Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai, met with Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman in Los Angeles yesterday.” Marks was referring to their meeting in Los Angeles. “We have concluded that it is best to move forward with our collaboration. We are concentrating on basketball to achieve a common objective, which is to create a successful club that will bring a championship to Brooklyn.”
According to sources who spoke to ESPN, Durant expressed his want to be traded for the first time on June 30 and then reinforced that wish while meeting with Joe Tsai in London earlier this month. In the course of that discussion, Durant insisted that Tsai decides for him and the strategic partnership of Nash and Marks.
Instead, Nash and Marks will continue in their current roles, while Durant will remain in Brooklyn, New York, as the new four-year agreement for $198 million that he signed during the offseason of the previous year will begin to take effect this season.
The turmoil caused by stars Durant and Kyrie Irving consumed most of the offseason for the Nets, who spent that time trying to find a solution.
Irving, who made the decision not to get the COVID-19 vaccine before the start of the previous season but still played in 29 games, compiled a list of teams he would have liked the Nets to explore negotiating with on a sign-and-trade deal and sent it to them. However, a deal that could have been considered plausible never occurred, and Irving decided to play out the final year of his contract. The Nets still have the option to move him because his contract is about to expire (although Irving would have no formal input in a potential landing destination), and they have until June 30, 2019, to negotiate an extension with him before he becomes a free agency without any restrictions.
The Nets will aim to improve upon their exit from the first round of the playoffs last season and hope that Ben Simmons will be a part of that improvement. Irving and Durant will still be with the squad.
Simmons was moved from Philadelphia to Brooklyn as part of the transaction that sent James Harden to the 76ers, but the Nets have not yet played their first game with their new player. Simmons had a treatment called a microdiscectomy in May to treat the pain that was caused by a bulging disc in his lower back, but it is anticipated that he will be healthy enough to participate in training camp.
After the announcement that Kevin Durant will remain with the team, the Nets saw their odds of winning the NBA title improve from 18-1 to 9-1, according to Caesars Sportsbook. The 9-1 odds put the Brooklyn Nets in fourth place, ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers, behind the Boston Celtics (+450), Golden State Warriors (+650), Phoenix Suns (+800), Los Angeles Clippers (+800), and Milwaukee Bucks (+800), respectively.