Now that Kyrie Irving has been dealt, Kevin Durant find himself under the spotlight once again as league observers wait to see if the Nets forward will resubmit the trade request he made last summer.
Asked on Monday about that possibility, head coach Jacque Vaughn said that’s not something he has talked to Durant about and he doesn’t plan to do so. In Vaughn’s view, as long as the Nets can continue to show they’re capable of competing with the best teams in the East, there’s no reason for Durant to seek a change of scenery.
“At the end of the day, Kevin wants to win,” Vaughn said on Monday, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “That’s always been our goal. He wants to win at shootaround, he wants to win any game of the week. That’s why he loves to play and that’s why he wants to play 82 games. That will be our holy grail. We’ll continue to try to put a group out that wins and until there’s something for me to be concerned about, then I’ll carry on business as usual.”
While the Nets added two solid role players in their Irving trade, their championship upside probably took a hit as a result of that deal, so the team has been exploring further roster upgrades, as we detailed on Monday. According to Ian Begley of SNY.tv, before trading Irving, the Nets had also remained in touch with the Hawks about John Collins and had spoken to multiple teams about Joe Harris and Patty Mills.
Although it’s possible Durant could push for a change of scenery again, most people around the NBA don’t expect that to happen this week, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said in a podcast with colleague Brian Windhorst (YouTube link), especially since the Nets’ additions of Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith signaled a desire to continue building a roster around Durant that’s capable of contending — Finney-Smith is a player KD likes and wanted Brooklyn to acquire if the team made a deal with Dallas, Lowe stated.
Here’s more from around the Atlantic:
- Following up on reports suggesting that the Nets were talking to the Raptors about Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, and Fred VanVleet, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype says Toronto “covets” Brooklyn center Nic Claxton, having also attempted to acquire him at least season’s trade deadline. Ben Simmons and multiple first-round picks have also come up in the Nets’ trade discussions with the Raptors, Scotto adds.
- The Athletic’s Jared Weiss and Jay King take a look at what could be on tap for the Celtics at the trade deadline, considering whether it’s realistic to expect them to make a play for Durant and noting that a deal for a center remains the team’s most likely move. Weiss and King also examine Grant Williams‘ up-and-down play and conclude it still doesn’t make sense for Boston to trade him, despite a report from Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer stating that teams are inquiring on Williams.
- While Daryl Morey is always a good bet to make some sort of move at the trade deadline, the Sixers president of basketball operations tells Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice that he’s not expecting to make a huge splash this week. “I think it’s very unlikely we’re involved in anything big,” Morey said. “It could easily be that we continue to just develop chemistry and then have the group we have. I and (general manager) Elton (Brand) and everyone feels a responsibility in an important year like this to see if we can find anyone who can upgrade the team.”
24 thoughts on “Atlantic Rumors: Durant, Nets, Raptors, Claxton, Celtics, Sixers”
If I were Morey I’d make even a tiny move so when Sixers lose in rd 1 he can at least say he “tried”. Then he can really make Doctor Rivers the scapegoat.
My 2 cents…
Excellent point. Though this team has only been getting better through the year. It’d have to be a clubhouse culture guy.
I think Durant to the Hawks for a package around Collins makes the most sense.
I would say Durant for Ayton but I don’t think Ayton can be traded
Hawks don’t have any picks, Suns won’t trade Booker, so they don’t have enough. Only realistic teams with enough assets for KD are Pelicans – picks and Ingram. Other pick rich teams are not contending
Good point, but do they really want to trade Ingram? I don’t think they are under any pressure to make a move. I think Hawks are because their expectations are higher after they got to the ECF a couple years ago. Pelicans can stay put and still rode Ingram and Zion for a couple more years.
What are your thoughts on a Thunder reunion?
I guess it would depend on the price. The only reason they do it is to boost sales and maybe draw free agent interest next year. But if I’m OKC, I ain’t giving up much
Ayton can be traded, his no trade protection expired January 15th
If the raps trade for Simmons they may as well blow up the team. Simmons is kryptonite to any team being a true contender.
not to worry…claxton for van vleet and a first rounder protected
One 1st for vanvleet and two 1sts for taking Simmons
That’s assuming they are trading for him as a player. Maybe they just need someone to help the equipment staff reach high shelves?
he wouldn’t for fear of suffering a stress fracture somewhere on him
Yet somehow every team he is on makes the playoffs
no, the teams he doesn’t end up playing for due to injury makes the playoffs. And did the 6ers win a championship with him? hold on I will go check
That is a hilariously generous interpretation of his impact
Am I the only one that thinks the Nets got better with this trade? Having two wings like DFS and Royce O’Neale is insane and Dinwiddie can initiate the offense and gives them a 5th elite 3 point shooter in addition to Patty Mills, Seth Curry, Joe Harris, and Yuta Watanabe. Of course they need KD to be healthy but how can you double KD with all those shooters? If they had a decent backup center they would be scary.
every team gets better when Kyrie leaves. People start smiling again in the locker room, too.
Not alone, but it apparently not the majority…
The Nets have a chance to build something now… Something you cannot when you have a cancer like Irving…
It doesn’t give them a 5th elite 3 pt shooter. they already had that with Kyrie.
In real life they got better. Analysts are getting lost in the idea of Kyrie playing to his potential without interruption.
Morey has to make a move to get under the cap. The 76ers could really use another 6’10”-7 footer on the team.
So much optimism about Kyrie in this post…
As if he was going to be around in the playoffs…
An injury or some crazy movie plot will have him missing games…
The Nets are better off without his effect both on and off the court…
Simmons for Grant Williams … Are the Celtics more hesitant than Brooklyn to make that swap?