Kevin Durant Notes: Reactions, Next Steps, More

While the Nets confirmed on Tuesday that Kevin Durant is officially off the trade market, some rival executives remain skeptical about just how hard the team tried to move him this summer, as Steve Bulpett of writes.

“What Brooklyn was asking for was ridiculous,” one executive involved in the process told Bulpett. “They knew it. We knew it.”

If the Nets’ intention all along was to hang onto Durant by setting an asking price that no team would be willing to meet, the situation played out exactly as they hoped. But even if they genuinely attempted to move him following his June 30 trade request, another league executive was impressed by how they handled the saga, Bulpett writes.

“Brooklyn just said, ‘Enough of this s–t.’ And good for them,” the exec told “This should be a blueprint for every team that goes through something like this. … It’s important to maintain good relationships and loyalty and all that with your players, but if the player is doing something that’s hurting the team — hurting the business — then you have to stand your ground and remember how you got the money to buy the team in the first place.”

One league source who spoke to Bulpett suggested that Nets owner Joe Tsai was determined to reclaim control of the franchise after having all but ceded that control to Durant and Kyrie Irving for a few years when they signed with the team in 2019.

“He gave them the keys to the Ferrari and they took it out and they wrecked it — and he decided he wasn’t going to give them another set of keys,” that source said. “The statement he made on Twitter? That was Joe Tsai saying that he was going to be the one who decides who drives, and it isn’t going to be them.”

Here are several more items on Durant and the Nets:

  • The Nets and Durant can talk about moving forward with their partnership all they want, but the foundation in Brooklyn has been fractured, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, who says the team is under pressure to win in 2022/23 or risk finding itself in a similar situation next offseason.
  • The Durant drama helped mask other major questions facing the Nets, including what they can realistically expect from Irving and Ben Simmons in ’22/23 after the two stars essentially had lost seasons in ’21/22, writes Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports.
  • A handful of ESPN’s analysts, including Tim Bontemps and Bobby Marks, explore where Durant and the Nets go from here and make predictions about how long Durant and Irving will remain in Brooklyn and where the team currently stands in the East’s pecking order.
  • In a YouTube video, ESPN’s Bobby Marks says one of his main takeaways from the Durant saga is that it’s OK for players to request trades and for teams ultimately not to grant those requests, suggesting that major changes to the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement shouldn’t be necessary.
  • What exactly does Durant want? That question seems harder than ever to answer in the wake of this offseason’s drama, according to Chris Herring of, who says it’s unclear whether KD’s top priority is to win championships or to have things completely on his terms.
  • In a column for The New York Post, Mike Vaccaro paints the Nets’ leadership group in an unflattering light and refers to the last couple months in Brooklyn as “the most laughable basketball saga we’ve ever seen.”
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