Steve Nash

Kevin Durant Talks Offseason Trade Request, Nets, Legacy, More

The Nets have had an up-and-down first month of the 2022/23 season and are in the midst of another downturn right now, having given up 153 points to the Kings in a blowout loss on Tuesday.

Still, Kevin Durant tells Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report that he likes the energy new head coach Jacque Vaughn has brought to the team. According to Durant, the Nets have been “preparing ourselves well” for games, “playing as hard as we can,” and are starting to build real chemistry.

In Durant’s view, the way the Nets are readying themselves for games under Vaughn is how the team should have been approaching its preparation last season. That was the primary reason the star forward requested a trade in the summer, he told Haynes.

“It wasn’t difficult at all to request a trade because it was about ball,” Durant said. “I went to them and was like, ‘Yo, I don’t like how we are preparing. I don’t like shootarounds. I like practices. I need more. I want to work on more s–t. Hold me accountable. Get on my ass in film if that’s going to help you get on everybody else’s head. I want to do more closeouts. I want to work on more shell drills at practice.’

“This was the type of s–t I was coming at them with. It wasn’t like, ‘Yo, y’all need to make sure everybody around me can make my life easier.’ Hell nah, I want to make everybody else’s life easier. Ask Steve Nash, you can go call him right now. I would say, ‘Yo, I need more closeout drills. We need to practice more.’ That’s what I was on.

“I wasn’t feeling that, and nobody was on that same vibe with me. Jacque Vaughn is. I had some complaints in the summer, and my complaints were not about just me; it was about how we are moving as a unit. I want us to be respected out here in the basketball world. I don’t want players to look at us and say, ‘Oh man, these (expletive) are full of s–t. That’s not the type of team I want to be on.’ So when we’re all playing like s–t, you know the one person they’re going to look at. That’s why I requested a trade.”

Durant opened up to both Haynes and Marc J. Spears of Andscape on Tuesday about a number of topics beyond his offseason trade request. Both interviews are worth checking out in full, but here are some of the highlights from the former MVP:

On the Nets’ lineup with Kyrie Irving unavailable and Ben Simmons struggling to regain his old form:

“Look at our starting lineup. Edmond Sumner, Royce O’Neale, Joe Harris, (Nic) Claxton and me. It’s not disrespect, but what are you expecting from that group? You expect us to win because I’m out there. So if you’re watching from that lens, you’re expecting us to play well because No. 7 is out there.”

On the perception that he’s not a true leader:

“I’m not a leader? What the f–k does that mean? A lot of people say I’m not a leader because I didn’t tell Kyrie to get vaccinated. Come on. Or I didn’t condemn Kyrie for leaving the team, going out and living his life. I’m not about to tell a grown-ass man what he can and can’t do with his own life and dissect his views or how he thinks about s–t.

“… I don’t need to show or tell everybody what I’m doing with my teammates so y’all can pump me up and say, ‘Yeah, KD, you’re the boss, you’re the leader.’ These other (expletives) need that. I don’t. I don’t come to you and say, ‘Haynes, write this story about me.’ I don’t do that to nobody. But I come here and respect y’all. I talk to y’all like a real one, even after a blowout (loss).”

On whether he’s happy in Brooklyn:

I’m incredible. Loving life right now. I don’t think the world understands that. Maybe I need to get miked up more. Maybe I need to have more fluff pieces written about me. Smile more in pictures.

“What’s not to love about this life? I’m a great player. I get up to go hoop every day, work on my game. I make a s–t ton of money. I buy a lot of cool s–t. I don’t understand why there’s even a question on whether I’m happy or not. I just look at the big picture of things. Obviously, basketball, I want to do well, win every game and I want s–t to be perfect. But that doesn’t mean my whole life is f—ed up.”

On his legacy as a player:

“All that extra s–t like, ‘You got to win before you retire and make sure your legacy is straight,’ that’s bulls–t to me. My legacy is predicated on what Cam Thomas is learning from me and what he’ll take away to help him by the time he’s in his 10th year. That’s my legacy. What I did with Andre Roberson, the confidence I helped him build when he was in the league. That’s my legacy. Being able to play with Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry and Kyrie and still be me. Yeah, that’s my legacy. That’s who I am. That’s what I bring to the game.

“I can play with anybody, anywhere, at any time, and you know I’m going bring it every day. That should be my legacy.”

Nets Notes: Udoka, Vaughn, Irving, Future

After the Nets parted ways with Steve Nash last week, top team officials spoke to Ime Udoka within the next 24-to-48 hours and he begin preparing to potentially take over the team’s head coaching job, multiple sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic. However, according to Charania, Brooklyn ultimately deviated from its plan to hire Udoka due to a handful of factors.

The Nets’ due diligence into Udoka and his suspension in Boston took longer than initially expected, and there was push-back from people inside and outside of the organization about the possible hiring, sources tell The Athletic. Charania also cites “short- and long-term question marks around the team’s ability to contend” due to Kyrie Irving‘s uncertain future as another factor.

According to Charania, the Nets have seen buy-in from the players under Jacque Vaughn, who has created “positive energy” inside a locker room that has already dealt with its share of drama this season. Additionally, while the sample size is small, Brooklyn’s defense seems to be improving under Vaughn, which is another reason why the team was comfortable removing his interim title and making him the permanent head coach, Charania adds.

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • A veteran scout tells Brian Lewis of The New York Post that in the Nets’ October 29 game vs. Indiana, he counted 10 separate instances where Nash called a specific play and Irving ran something entirely different. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” the scout said. “Nash would call something, and he’d run the opposite. I’ve never seen anything like that.” A source close to the situation tells Lewis that the Nets “did whatever they wanted” under Nash, no matter what game plan he gave the team. “They were the most dysfunctional team I’ve seen (in years),” another scout said to Lewis.
  • Although Irving’s Tuesday meeting with NBA commissioner Adam Silver went well and could create a path to him rejoining the Nets, there are still some fences to mend, Shams Charania of The Athletic said during an appearance on The Rally (video link). “There is a bunch to sort through between Kyrie Irving and the Nets. There are relationships that need to be sorted out,” Charania said. “Not only between Kyrie Irving and management (and ownership), but also the locker room — he’s been away from the team for about a week now.”
  • Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report considers whether the Nets should blow up their roster, noting that the upside to doing so is limited because they’ve already traded away several future draft picks and Irving and Ben Simmons don’t currently have any trade value.

Nets Notes: Durant, Nash, Simmons, Irving, Udoka

Nets forward Kevin Durant said on Tuesday night that he was surprised to learn of Steve Nash‘s exit from his position as Brooklyn’s head coach, as Nick Friedell of ESPN writes.

“You’re always shocked when a move like this happens,” Durant said after the Nets’ loss to Chicago. “But it’s normal in the NBA. It’s about getting ready for the game tonight. It’s a quick turn always in the league, especially during the season. You’ve got practice, games coming up, so you can’t think too much about it. It was on my mind for a little bit today.”

As Friedell notes, Nets general manager Sean Marks told reporters earlier in the day on Tuesday that he hadn’t consulted with Durant and/or Kyrie Irving before making the decision to part ways with Nash. Durant’s comments seemed to confirm that was true.

Asked why he felt like things didn’t work out with Nash in Brooklyn, Durant didn’t blame his former head coach for the team’s shortcomings, even though offseason reports indicated that he had pushed for Nash’s firing.

“We didn’t have a healthy team. We just didn’t play well,” Durant said. “And that’s what happens in the league. S–t happens. That doesn’t take away from Steve’s basketball IQ, how he teaches the game. I don’t think that takes away from anything. It just didn’t work out.”

Asked in Miami about Nash’s departure, Steve Kerr – one of the NBA’s longest-tenured head coaches – essentially agreed with Durant’s assessment, referring to Nash as “brilliant” and suggesting that the former MVP could thrive in a more “stable environment,” according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link).

“Erik’s got a (solid situation) here,” Kerr said, referring to Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra. “I’ve got one in Golden State. We’re really lucky. You throw either one of us in that situation, we wouldn’t have done any better than Steve. That’s the truth.”

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Ian Begley of, who previously reported that the Nets had briefly engaged in “cursory” trade talks with a Western Conference team, says those discussions were about a veteran shooter, adding that Ben Simmons‘ name came up. While Begley cautions that those talks may not have advanced beyond the exploratory stage, he says Brooklyn was rumored to be “aggressive” in its pursuit of shooting.
  • Like the NBA did on Saturday, the National Basketball Players Association issued a fairly toothless statement on Tuesday, condemning antisemitism in general terms without mentioning NBPA vice president Irving by name or specifically rebuking his promotion of an antisemitic film on social media.
  • During Tuesday’s TNT broadcast, broadcaster and former NBA star Reggie Miller called out the players’ response to the Irving situation, expressing dissatisfaction that there has been silence from players who haven’t hesitated to speak out on other social justice issues, writes Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post. “The players have dropped the ball on this case when it’s been one of their own. It’s been crickets,” Miller said after lauding the players’ criticism of owners like Donald Sterling and Robert Sarver. “And it’s disappointing, because this league has been built on the shoulders of the players being advocates. Right is right and wrong is wrong.”
  • If the Nets move forward with their reported plan to hire Ime Udoka as their new head coach, it could be another landmine for the franchise, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post, who notes that the full story on Udoka’s off-court conduct in Boston still hasn’t come out publicly. As Lewis relays, a league insider told NetsDaily that Udoka “repeatedly” sent inappropriate messages to women on the Celtics‘ staff.
  • Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports makes the case that the best play for the dysfunctional Nets would be to trade Durant.
  • ESPN’s Brian Windhorst passes along all of Sean Marks‘ noteworthy statements from his Tuesday media session, attempting to read between the lines of those comments.

Steve Nash Out As Nets’ Coach

The embattled Nets have decided to make a coaching change after their 2-5 start. Steve Nash is being replaced as head coach, with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania of The Athletic reporting that Nash and the team have agreed to part ways (Twitter links).

“We want to thank Steve for everything he brought to our franchise over the past two-plus seasons,” general manager Sean Marks said in a press release announcing the move. “Since becoming head coach, Steve was faced with a number of unprecedented challenges, and we are sincerely grateful for his leadership, patience and humility throughout his tenure. Personally, this was an immensely difficult decision; however, after much deliberation and evaluation of how the season has begun, we agreed that a change is necessary at this time. We wish Steve, Lilla and their family all the best in the future.”

Assistant coach Jacque Vaughn will take over as acting head coach for tonight’s game against the Bulls, tweets Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Vaughn also served as the team’s interim coach when Kenny Atkinson was fired in 2020, and he was widely considered to be the favorite to become the permanent head coach before the team opted for Nash.

The Nets are expected to consider suspended Celtics head coach Ime Udoka and former Jazz head coach Quin Snyder, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link). He adds that Boston is willing to part with Udoka if he receives an offer. Brooklyn’s front office has “quietly done due diligence” on the circumstances that led to Udoka’s suspension, reports Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link).

[UPDATE: Nets Plan To Hire Ime Udoka As Head Coach]

Nash’s status became an issue this summer amid Kevin Durant‘s trade request. In a meeting with team owner Joe Tsai to try to resolve their differences, Durant reportedly expressed a lack of confidence in Nash and Marks and asked for them both to be dismissed.

Nash attempted to smooth things over with Durant and told reporters at media day that their relationship was solid. However, the team’s slow start led to a growing realization that some type of change had to be made, and management decided to start with the head coach.

Nash tweeted out a statement thanking Tsai and Marks for the chance to coach the team and called it “an amazing experience with many challenges that I’m incredibly grateful for.”

“It was a pleasure to work with the performance team, front office and players everyday,” Nash wrote. “I’m especially grateful to my coaching staff and video room who are a talented group with so much character and professionalism.”

Nash compiled a 94-67 record in two-plus seasons with Brooklyn, but he was only able to win one playoff series. The Nets were swept out of the playoffs by the Celtics in the first round last season.

Atlantic Notes: Nets, Irving, Maxey, Grimes

Nets coach Steve Nash called for a better effort from his players after their season reached a new low with a loss to the Pacers Saturday night, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Brooklyn is close to a fully healthy roster with Seth Curry, Joe Harris and Markieff Morris all returning, but the team’s defense looked as bad as ever, allowing 125 points while sinking to 1-5.

“It was a disaster. How else do you say it? I didn’t see the will, didn’t see the desire or the connectivity necessary to get stops and get rebounds,” Nash said. “We’ve just got to make a bigger commitment. It’s got to mean more. We’ve got to care more.”

The performance raises questions about the team’s focus following a chaotic summer that saw Kevin Durant submit a trade request and then appeal to owner Joe Tsai to fire Nash and general manager Sean Marks. Durant said Saturday that Nash shouldn’t be blamed for the slow start.

“That’s on the individuals. We got to take pride individually,” Durant said. “Coaching matters, chemistry, all that stuff matters. But at the end of the day we’re individuals. So we got to be better as individuals. … Each guy’s just got to dig down deeper and be better.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Nets guard Kyrie Irving had a combative exchange with reporters after the game, defending his promotion of a film considered to be antisemitic and his support of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, Lewis adds in a separate story. “I’m not going to stand down on anything I believe in,” Irving said. “I’m only going to get stronger because I’m not alone. I have a whole army around me.”
  • The Sixers need Tyrese Maxey to take over a larger role in the offense, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. With Joel Embiid sitting out Friday’s game, Maxey made nine three-pointers and scored a career-high 44 points. “That’s why I’ve been on him,” Embiid said. “He’s one of the best shooters and he has the potential to be up there. You know, a great stroke. He can really shoot the ball, great form and he makes them. There’s a reason I’m always on him to just let it fly. He’s got to get up 10 to 15 threes a game. That’s how good of a shooter he is.”
  • Knicks guard Quentin Grimes will miss his sixth straight game today with soreness in his left foot, per Zach Braziller of The New York Post. Grimes, who has been listed as day-to-day since the preseason, has been working out before every game, but hasn’t been able to participate in a full practice.

Nets Notes: Simmons, Kyrie, Nash, Curry, Harris

Ben Simmons is still struggling to adjust to playing again after missing all of last season. The Nets continue to implore him to be aggressive in looking for his own shot while supporting him through the tough moments, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post.

Yes. Yeah. That’s a little rust, the confidence not only physically, but with the rhythm of the game, to go to the basket,” head coach Steve Nash said of Simmons attacking the rim. “You can see him trying at times, and that’s great. We want to keep pushing him to try to break through and force the issue, even if he makes mistakes, just so that we can see him be aggressive and start to find a rhythm for doing so. … It’s not easy for him. It’s been a long time, new group and a back surgery. Add it all up and we have to have some patience with him.”

After Simmons passed up what appeared to be an open layup during Wednesday’s loss to the Bucks, a clip went viral of Kyrie Irving telling him to shoot the ball. Irving told reporters after the game what transpired.

When I passed it to him I felt like he had a layup at the rim,” Irving said, per Nick Friedell of ESPN. “And I looked him eye to eye and I was like, “Shoot it, Ben!” And of course, again, it’s just a clip. It’s a full game that we can look at and dissect, and that’s what I’ll do. This is a big-picture thing. We want Ben to be aggressive every single play, we want him to get an assist every single play, we want him to rebound, we want him to play against the best player, we want him to do all the things we know he’s capable of, but at this time he’s going to have to work himself into his own confidence and feel good about himself.

I’m not going to say I’m being patient or humble about it, but the reality is that we’re just going to keep having to try this experiment every single night until we get the right recipe.”

Like Nash, Irving stressed patience as Simmons attempts to regain his old form, saying that he’s giving Simmons “positive affirmations,” according to Friedell. Through four games (29.5 MPG), Simmons is averaging 5.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG and 7.5 APG while shooting 45% from the field and 33% from the free throw line.

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Nash was ejected for the first time in his coaching career during the loss to the Bucks, which dropped the Nets to 1-3 on the season, notes Michael Blinn of The New York Post. “I was just standing up for our guys,” Nash told reporters after the game. “I thought Patty (Mills) took a forearm in the throat from Giannis (Antetokounmpo) right in front of the ref and I didn’t think that was fair. I don’t think I was overly demonstrative. I was upset that I got a tech.”
  • Hornets head coach Steve Clifford, who was a coaching consultant with the Nets during their disappointing 2021/22 season, recently told reporters that Nash wasn’t to blame for the way things panned out, according to Zach Braziller of The New York Post. “This is where coaches take heat for things that are not their fault. The number one problem last year in Brooklyn was games missed. That’s it,” Clifford said. “I didn’t go to every game, but I watched every game.” As Braziller notes, Kevin Durant missed 27 games last season and Irving missed 53, while Simmons didn’t appear in a game with the Nets in ’21/22 after being acquired from the Sixers.
  • Guard Seth Curry is still recovering from offseason ankle surgery but he’s nearing a return. He’s getting 4-on-4 work in with the Nets and practiced with the team’s G League affiliate in Long Island on Thursday (Twitter links via Lewis and Andscape’s Marc J. Spears). However, he won’t play in their road game at Dallas on Thursday night, nor will Joe Harris (ankle rehab) or Markieff Morris (personal reasons), tweets Friedell.

New York Notes: Knox, Harris, Brunson, Nash

Kevin Knox takes responsibility for his failure to establish himself with the Knicks, according to Zach Braziller of the New York Post.

“I had my fair opportunity; didn’t make the best of it, unfortunately,” Knox said.

The ninth pick of the 2018 draft was traded to Atlanta last season, then signed a two-year contract in free agency with the Pistons.

“Got to move on, got to play harder, learn from it,” he said. “Learned a lot playing under (Tom Thibodeau), playing here in New York. I have to take it to my next chapter.”

We have more from the New York teams:

  • Joe Harris made his season debut on Friday for the Nets, posting modest stats: three points, two rebounds and two assists in 18 minutes. He hadn’t appeared in a game since November 14 of last season due to an ankle injury. Harris was thrilled to be back, Brian Lewis of the New York Post relays. “Oh, yeah, it was amazing. The fun atmosphere, great team win. So I think it was a perfect, perfect game to come back,” he said. “Yeah, everything felt great. I was definitely a little winded, the lungs were burning. But you know, that’s to be expected.”
  • Jalen Brunson hasn’t made a turnover in his first two Knicks games, Braziller notes. “He has a great understanding of the game, and I think that’s probably the most important thing,” Thibodeau said of his new point guard. “And I think how you manage and control the game is another strength. But usually, when you analyze turnovers, they fall into one of two categories. They’re either risky passes that you’re trying to thread the needle, or you’re going too much one-on-one. And he has a great feel for when to go and when to pass.”
  • Nets coach Steve Nash said it wasn’t all that difficult for him to move on from this summer’s drama, which included a Kevin Durant request to the team owner that he be fired, Michael Grange of tweets. “It was just that we needed to sit down at some point,” Nash said. “That was it. That’s kind of what happened. I would say our environment has been outstanding.”

Nets Notes: Nash, Durant, Morris, Watanabe

Asked on Monday about Kevin Durant‘s reported offseason ultimatum to the Nets to either trade him or fire GM Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash, Nash downplayed the issue, likening it to a family squabble. The two-time NBA MVP offered a more in-depth answer on Tuesday when asked again about his relationship with Durant, as Nick Friedell of ESPN details.

“We’re good,” Nash said. “Ever since we talked, it’s been like nothing’s changed. I have a long history with Kevin. I love the guy. Families have issues. We had a moment and it’s behind us. That’s what happens. It’s a common situation in the league.”

Nash, who said he wasn’t “overly surprised” or “overly concerned” about the way the Durant saga played out, also pushed back on the idea that the star forward really wanted him fired.

“I never thought that was 100 percent,” Nash said, per Friedell. “There was a lot of things. It’s not black and white like that, so there was a lot of factors. A lot of things behind the scenes. A lot of things reported are not accurate. A lot of things that are reported are not 100 percent accurate. So you get fragmented bits of truth. You get things that are flat out not true. It happens. … So I never really get caught up in all that stuff.”

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • New Nets forward Markieff Morris said the perception around the NBA is that last year’s Brooklyn team was “soft,” per Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Morris is hoping to bring grit and toughness to this year’s roster, and Nash believes the veteran will have an important voice in the locker room. “Markieff is a need for us, his presence, his personality,” Nash said. “He has a voice, he has an experience, he has an understanding of the game. That’s a need. We need guys that can speak to the group.”
  • Camp invitee Yuta Watanabe told Japanese reporters this week that he hopes to be able to play a three-and-D role for the Nets this season, as Jordan Greene of NetsDaily writes. Watanabe, who is on non-guaranteed contract, isn’t a lock to make Brooklyn’s regular season roster — assuming the team retains its 12 players on guaranteed salaries and Morris, Watanabe would have to either beat out Edmond Sumner for the 14th spot or hope the club carries a 15th man despite the additional luxury tax penalty.
  • In case you missed it, we passed along several of the most notable quotes from the Nets’ Media Day earlier this week.

Nets Notes: Durant, Nash, Irving, Curry, Warren, Simmons

Addressing reporters at the Nets‘ media day on Monday, Kevin Durant explained that he requested a trade this offseason because he had some “doubts” about whether the Nets were building a legitimate championship culture (Twitter link via Tania Ganguli of The New York Times).

“I wanted everybody to be held accountable for their habits as a basketball player,” Durant said, per Mark W. Sanchez of The New York Post. “I think a lot of stuff was getting swept under the rug because we’re injured or this guy’s not around or just the circumstances. I thought we could have fought through that a little bit more and focused on the guys that were here a little bit more.

“When I went out with the injury, we lost 10 in a row. And I’m like, ‘We shouldn’t be losing some of these games that we lost, regardless of who’s on the floor.’ So I was more so worried about how we’re approaching every day as a basketball team. And I felt like we could have fought through a lot of the stuff that I felt that held us back.”

Durant said he wasn’t disappointed not to be dealt and that he’s committed to the Nets going forward (Twitter links via Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic and Adam Zagoria of He also admitted that he wasn’t surprised to remain a Net, since general manager Sean Marks and the team’s front office set a sky-high asking price.

“I know I’m that good, that you’re just not going to give me away,” Durant said.

In his own media session, Marks said that he feels good about where things stand with Durant, adding that if the star forward “still wanted out, he wouldn’t be here” (Twitter link via Vorkunov). He also said the Nets made a legitimate effort to trade Durant, though he admitted he was fielding outside inquiries more than he was instigating discussions.

“Yeah, absolutely we made those calls and we at least picked up the phone when teams called us,” Marks told YES Network (Twitter link via Zagoria). “I gotta be honest, I wasn’t making a whole lot of outgoing calls, I mean why would you do that?”

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Steve Nash downplayed the fact that Durant reportedly called for the head coach’s job as part of his ultimatum to the Nets, likening it to a family squabble and telling reporters that he and KD got together to talk it out (Twitter link via Brian Lewis of The New York Post).
  • Kyrie Irving, who referred to Brooklyn’s summer as a “clusterf–k,” said he came close to leaving the Nets before picking up his player option, adding that he had some other options, but “not many,” Sanchez writes for The Post. Irving admitted that potential suitors had concerns about his availability and his commitment.
  • Interestingly, Irving stated that his decision to remain unvaccinated against COVID-19 cost him a lucrative long-term extension offer from the Nets during the 2021 offseason. “I gave up four years, $100-something million deciding to be unvaccinated, and that was the decision,” Irving said, per Sanchez.
  • A pair of Nets wings are still awaiting full clearance following injuries, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN (Twitter links). Seth Curry, who underwent ankle surgery in May, said today that he’s at “85-90 percent” and isn’t fully cleared to participate in camp. Meanwhile, T.J. Warren said the foot injury that cost him all of the 2021/22 season is fully healed, but he still needs to do more rehab work to get cleared by team doctors.
  • Ben Simmons is “ready to go” and will be a full participant in training camp, he said today (Twitter link via Friedell). As long as he remains healthy through the preseason, the plan is for the former No. 1 overall pick to be on the floor when the Nets’ season begins, tweets Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. Simmons also said he’s willing to play center for his new team (Twitter link via Zagoria).

Nets Notes: Durant, Collins, Outlook, Nash

A number of rival NBA executives subscribe to the theory that the Rudy Gobert trade made it more difficult for the Nets to move Kevin Durant, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. As Scotto explains, there was a sense that if the Nets couldn’t get more in exchange for Durant than the Jazz got for Gobert, Brooklyn’s front office would’ve looked “foolish.”

[RELATED: Kevin Durant, Nets Agree To “Move Forward” With Partnership]

Within his story on the Nets and Durant, Scotto also reports that multiple members of Brooklyn’s front office are fans of Hawks big man John Collins. A report earlier this week stated that Atlanta offered Collins, De’Andre Hunter, and a draft pick in exchange for Durant. However, Collins wasn’t viewed as the sort of star who could headline a KD package, Scotto says.

Here’s more on the Nets in the wake of this week’s Durant-related developments:

  • Multiple general managers who spoke to Scotto predicted that the Nets will be a top-four team in the East this season, though one acknowledged that there’s a wide range of conceivable outcomes for the club. “There’s a very predictable unpredictability, a predictable chaos, a predictable waffling,” the GM said. “What really would surprise you at this point?”
  • While Brooklyn’s high asking price was one major reason why Durant is still a Net, one league executive who spoke to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today suggested that suitors may have been turned off by the aggressive way the star forward pushed for a trade. “Teams don’t want to overpay for someone who has proven he will burn your house down,” the exec said.
  • During a segment on ESPN’s Get Up (video link), Brian Windhorst referred to the truce between Durant and the Nets as a “tentative” one, while Adrian Wojnarowksi said that things will “continue to be fragile” in Brooklyn going forward. Sam Amick of The Athletic agrees that it would be naive to consider the Durant saga over, given that “this kind of discontent doesn’t just disappear overnight.”
  • Brian Lewis of The New York Post and Alex Schiffer of The Athletic each list five questions facing the Nets now that they’ve decided to hang onto Durant.
  • Within his story at The Athletic, Schiffer says that a possible new look in 2022/23 from head coach Steve Nash – who has several new assistants on his staff – has been a “selling point” in Brooklyn during free agency. Schiffer suggests that the Nets have the personnel necessary to run a faster-paced offense this season after leaning on an isolation-heavy system during Nash’s first couple years in Brooklyn.