The first day of NBA free agency is off to a rip-roaring start. Before the doors even opened for teams to make deals, a bombshell dropped: former Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant has requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets.
Durant and his manager are reportedly working with the Nets front office to find a trade partner for the 12-time All-Star, two-time NBA Finals MVP, and 2013-14 league MVP.
Durant requested a trade with the team today, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/BkNEHwkrc0— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2022
Durant left the Warriors after three seasons, during which the team won two titles and lost in the NBA Finals in the third year. His departure was quite tenuous, as it featured an in-season altercation with Draymond Green, extreme tension surrounding the team, Durant, and the media, and a long-running report that he was planning on linking up with good friend Kyrie Irving in New York.
KD and Irving did team up in Brooklyn, but it did not go as planned. Durant missed the entirety of the 2019-20 season with the Achilles injury that he sustained with the Warriors, and the Nets were swept in the first round. They added fellow MVP James Harden to the fold last year, but still only made it to the Eastern Conference Semifinals, where they lost to the eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks.
And things reached a boiling point this season. Irving missed the bulk of the season due to his refusal to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, tensions rose, Harden was traded for Ben Simmons (who never suited up), and the Nets were again swept in the first round.
The state of Durant and Irving’s relationship is unknown (though the center of much speculation), but the news of KD’s trade request comes just a few days after Irving opted into the final year of his contract, after flirting with opting out.
Durant signed a four-year extension with the Nets in August, so he’s under contract through the 2025-26 season. In other words, he’s not a rental, and he’ll fetch a pretty penny. And it sounds like the Nets intend to take the best offer, understandably.
Phoenix and Miami are among two of the teams that Kevin Durant has on his wish list, sources tell ESPN, but the Nets plan to move Durant where they can get the best possible deal. With four years on his contract, there's no shortage of teams willing to unload assets for Durant.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2022
Even though Durant won’t get the say in where he goes, a reunion with the Warriors seems very unlikely. The team is probably hesitant to break up a good thing given how tense KD’s tenure in the Bay was. Any deal for Durant would probably begin with Andrew Wiggins, and at least three of the young-core quartet (James Wiseman, Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga, and Moses Moody), plus some future draft picks.