Another layer was added to the Kevin Durant trade saga over the weekend. Back before the NBA free agency moratorium began in June, Durant requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. It surprised a lot of people, but things have been slow-moving.
Because of how slowly things have progressed, Durant decided to take the nuclear option route over the weekend. It was reported that Durant gave the franchise an ultimatum, saying it was either him or the duo of general manager Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash.
Durant has lost faith in the direction of the franchise and no longer feels Marks and Nash are the people for the job. For what it is worth, Kyrie Irving also feels the same way, as he reportedly hates both of them, feeling Nash is terrible and Marks is bad.
The Boston Celtics have emerged recently as a potential landing spot for Durant, as Ian Begley of SNY.tv has gone as far as saying that they are his preferred destination. At some point this offseason there were negotiations held between the Nets and Celtics.
Boston offered Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and draft picks for Durant, which Brooklyn declined. They wanted Marcus Smart to be included in the deal, but to this point, that wasn’t something Boston was willing to do.
While the ultimatum from Kevin Durant was likely a tactic to help speed things up, it seems to have accomplished the opposite. Kurt Helin of NBC Sports shed some light on the situation, as Durant’s latest attempt to get traded seems to have backfired on him.
There’s good reason for pessimism, Durant’s ultimatum to Nets owner Joe Tsai did not light a fire under trade talks. If anything, it made it far less likely a deal gets done in the short term. — why would Boston improve its offer now? It robbed the Nets of leverage. For example, Brooklyn was trying to get Boston to put Smart in the trade, but why would they even consider it now? That said, even without Smart (or Robert Williams III, sources told NBC Sports he is not available), a Celtics offer with Jaylen Brown may be the best one the Nets will see.
Smart is one player that Durant reportedly wants to play with, according to Begley’s report, which would make the Celtics even less inclined to include him. But, as Helin shares, Brown could very well be the best player that Brooklyn can receive in a trade package for Durant.
That is something that the Nets will certainly have to weigh as a trade centered around Durant seems inevitable. They have stood firm that they will not trade him unless they get everything they are looking for, but Durant is certainly not making that easy with his them or me ultimatum that he presented to the franchise.
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