Nets Notes: Durant, Marks, Nash, Simmons, Curry

Kevin Durant‘s four-year contract extension with the Nets, which he signed last year, went into effect the day after he made his trade request and includes advance payment language that required the team to cut him a hefty pay check on July 1, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack story.

As we noted earlier today in our list of this season’s highest-paid players, Durant is owed a $42,969,845 base salary in 2022/23. According to Stein, the star forward’s contract calls for him to receive 50% of that figure ($21,484,922) in a pair of installments on July 1 and October 1. That means that Durant received $10,742,461 from the Nets on the day after he asked the team to trade him.

As Stein observes, the fact that Durant is owed another $10.7MM+ on October 1 adds another layer of drama to the question of whether or not he’ll show up for training camp during the last week of September if he hasn’t been traded by then. If he doesn’t report, it’s possible the Nets would decide to withhold that payment.

Here’s more out of Brooklyn:

  • Elsewhere in his Substack story, Stein says there’s a growing belief among rival teams that Durant knew Nets owner Joe Tsai wouldn’t actually fire GM Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash when KD made his ultimatum. One prevailing theory, according to Stein, is that Durant is trying to sow discord in an effort to make the Nets lower their asking price and trade him “out of exasperation.” If that’s the endgame, it doesn’t appear to being according to plan so far.
  • ESPN and ABC analyst Jeff Van Gundy said during a Sirius XM Radio appearance that he believes the relationship between Durant and the Nets (including Marks and Nash) can still be salvaged.
    “I think it would be an awkward couple of days and then you win three in a row because I think if (Ben) Simmons comes back, (Joe) Harris comes back, (Kyrie) Irving is in a right space and is able to play and Durant comes back, they’ve got a really good team,” Van Gundy said, per Adam Zagoria of “And so winning helps camouflage any bad feelings and so I don’t think it will be as bad for as long as people might suspect on the outside.”
  • Simmons and Seth Curry are both eligible for contract extensions with the Nets, but Alex Schiffer of The Athletic doesn’t expect Brooklyn to lock up either player until the team has more clarity on its future. Even if the Nets get resolution on Durant and Irving, it seems unlikely they’d pursue an extension with Simmons, who has yet to play a game for the club and still has two years left on his current contract, but Curry – a free agent in 2023 – would be a logical candidate for a new deal.
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