Nets star Kevin Durant requested a trade in June. It’s now August and he’s still no closer to being moved.
Now a report Tuesday claims Durant is going to sit down face-to-face with Nets owner Joe Tsai this week, a meeting that should at least offer a modicum of clarity moving forward — be it a reconciliation or a breakup.
“What I’m hearing is that KD is going to meet with the owner this week,” a source told Heavy Sports. “He’s going to go directly to the owner, Joe Tsai, sometime this week. We’ll see how that works.”
The Nets declined comment on the report.
Durant requested a trade on June 30, the day after Nets point guard and longtime friend Kyrie Irving — with whom he’d arrived as a package deal in 2019 — opted into the final year of his contract. It was also days before Durant’s own four-year extension, which he signed last summer, kicked in.
To date, Durant has never openly explained why he became disgruntled and wants out of Brooklyn. It’s also unclear whether the meeting would be to reiterate and reinforce his desire to leave, or to express changes he wants to be made in order to stay.
“I don’t know,” the executive told Heavy Sports. “I have no idea what’s going to come of that meeting. There are some things that KD is unhappy about, and I’m not sure any of that gets fixed here. But maybe it does.”
Tsai and Nets general manager Sean Marks had agreed to work with Durant and business partner Rich Kleiman to seek trading partners, but to date there has been no real traction in a market skewed by the Jazz’s haul in return for Rudy Gobert, essentially five first-round draft picks.
The Athletic reported a week ago that Durant still wants to be traded. The Post had reported that there had been contact between Durant’s camp and the Nets front office, albeit unclear whether it was the star or Kleiman, and uncertain at what level of the organization. Now those talks could be a tête-à-tête between the two parties involved.
Though Durant was largely viewed as being on his way out in the days after the trade request, The Post has reported that the situation is trending toward the four-time NBA scoring champ still being in Brooklyn for training camp. The Heavy Sports report backs that up, with another NBA source betting the Nets will keep both Durant and Irving.
Durant is a two-time NBA Finals MVP and 12-time All-Star. Despite being 33, he’s far more impactful a player for the Nets than anything they can get in return — and so far, the offers have clearly been underwhelming. Durant has four years left on his contract, and a history that says he loves playing and hates sitting out. To think he’ll hold out indefinitely if not traded strains credulity.
The Nets reportedly have asked for the likes of Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns in return for Durant, and recently rejected an offer of Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and a first-round pick from Boston, according to The Athletic.
Brown — who was drafted by former Celtics boss Danny Ainge, not current GM Brad Stevens — was Boston’s best player in the NBA Finals and has just two years left on his contract. He was already considered a flight risk, and after he responded on social media to his name coming up in trade rumors, there is a perception around the league that the revelation of Boston shopping him could plant seeds of discord.