Perhaps the biggest news of the 2022 NBA outdoor season came early, as just before the free agency launch in late June, Brooklyn Nets All-Star forward Kevin Durant asked for a trade.
This request from Durant shocked many teams and executives across the league, and just hours before free agency kicked off, teams began putting together their best offerings to perhaps trade for Kevin Durant, a generational talent who is one of the best scorers in history. of the NBA and a true MVP candidate when he’s healthy on the floor.
Getting Durant could very well be the difference in some teams going to the NBA Finals and competing for a championship, which is why even the best of the best in the NBA wanted to trade for him.
The Phoenix Suns were a team linked to the Nets star early on when these trade talks were first held and this was due to the fact that they own all of their draft picks and had some valuable players to offer.
Cameron Johnson and Mikal Bridges were both seen as potential trading assets in a deal for Kevin Durant, as was restricted free agent Deandre Ayton. The Suns made a very competitive offer for Durant, but the Nets didn’t seem phased by all that Phoenix had to offer and in August Brooklyn and their star came to an agreement that he would stay with the team.
Everything about this drama centered on the Brooklyn Nets and Kevin Durant seemed very weird and many have wondered if the Nets had any intention of trading Durant at all, including Suns general manager James Jones.
“Brooklyn wanted to keep Kevin Durant,” Jones told AZCentral. “And that’s why he’s in Brooklyn and not on any other team, but as far as we are, I get it. It’s always a great topic of conversation, but the one thing people forget is that when you’re talking about trades or taking over players, the team that has the player has to be willing to move the player.”
Phoenix ended up being one of the few teams heavily involved in trade talks around Durant, but a deal was never struck.
“We had discussions with Brooklyn about their wishes and what they were trying to do, but in the end I would say, like most teams, there was nothing to worry about.”
Looking at this situation from a bigger picture perspective, why would the Brooklyn Nets want to trade Kevin Durant?
Not only is he one of the best players in the league, but the move of Durant would signal that Kyrie Irving’s time with the team is likely coming to an end and after going “all-in” through this one in recent years. All inclusive to be acquired. Stars and also trading for James Harden last season, the Nets would immediately tear everything down and begin a long, daunting rebuild that would take at least the next five to six years.
Nothing about trading Durant made sense from Brooklyn’s perspective and while he might really want a trade, at the end of the day, the Nets had the final say.
Going into the 2022-23 season, the Brooklyn Nets will continue to dominate the headlines as every little thing that happens to this franchise will be taken apart and the giant elephant in Kevin Durant’s room asking for a trade. , big will continue to loom until this team finds success after the season.
Whether or not Durant will continue through the remainder of his four-year contract extension with the Nets, which runs through the 2025-26 season, is a question we may not have an answer to until next season.