Latest On Kevin Durant

The trade ultimatum that Kevin Durant delivered to Nets owner Joe Tsai over the weekend only makes it more difficult for Durant to get what he wants, writes Peter Botte of The New York Post. Durant reportedly told Tsai that he would only consider returning to the team if head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks are both fired, and Tsai responded Monday with a Twitter statement supporting the coaching staff and front office.

Now that Durant’s ultimatum has become public, the Nets have even less leverage in trying to work out a deal in a market where they’ve already been unable to find an offer anywhere near their asking price. Durant may have hoped the meeting with Tsai would liven up the trade market, but Botte believes it might have done the opposite.

Durant’s unhappiness with Nash and Marks is ironic considering the efforts that the organization has made to accommodate him since he signed in 2019, adds Alex Schiffer of The Athletic. Before coming to Brooklyn, Nash worked closely with Durant as a consultant with the Warriors, and Durant reportedly used his influence to get Nash hired when the team parted ways with Kenny Atkinson in 2020.

Schiffer points out that much of Brooklyn’s coaching staff consisted of assistants who had also had ties to Durant, including Royal Ivey, Brian Keefe, David Vanterpool and Adam Harrington. And while Durant may be unhappy with Marks for not being willing to offer a new contract to Kyrie Irving, Schiffer notes that many of the team’s significant roster moves were heavily endorsed by Durant, including the additions of James Harden, LaMarcus Aldridge and Mike James.

There’s more on the Durant situation:

  • Durant’s unhappiness with the Nets can be traced back to Marks’ statement in May that the front office needs to regain control of the franchise, ESPN’s Tim Bontemps said today in an appearance on “Get Up” (video link). He adds that if Tsai had even considered getting rid of Nash and Marks, he would be letting the players run the team again.
  • In another “Get Up” segment, Bontemps states that nothing about the trade market has changed in the wake of Durant’s ultimatum (Twitter link). Teams still aren’t willing to give the Nets the type of trade package that they’re seeking, so Bontemps expects Durant to remain with Brooklyn into the start of training camp and possibly into the beginning of the regular season.
  • The chaos surrounding the Nets shows the danger of chasing stars instead of going through the natural rebuilding process, per Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, who adds that there’s little sympathy for Brooklyn around the league.
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