It has now been over a month since Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant requested a trade.
The asking price has been understandably high; however, with Brooklyn ensuring they get a haul for the two-time Finals MVP, no team has been willing to meet their demands.
This lack of willingness from teams across the league to depart with an unprecedented level of assets in exchange for Durant, has led many to believe a trade is simply not realistic. Having four years left on his deal, Durant has less leverage than his superstar status would suggest. If the Brooklyn Nets decided not to trade him, Durant could not threaten them with an imminent ability to walk for nothing.
With all of these factors complicating trade scenarios, the first step in Durant perhaps rescinding his trade request may be on the horizon.
In a recent report from Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com, it was revealed that Durant and Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai are expected to meet this week. The news was reportedly obtained through an anonymous league executive, who admitted to not knowing the expected outcome of this meeting, but that it is indeed scheduled to happen.
What could this mean?
The same source who revealed this looming meeting, also mentioned the growing unlikelihood that Durant gets dealt.
Citing the previously mentioned contract structure, along with Durant’s perceived unwillingness to sit out games, the executive said, “I don’t see them trading Durant, because they’re not going to get back what they should. And I wouldn’t trade him either. The hell with it. He signed the deal. The hell with it, right?”
The executive added, “I don’t see KD being a hard line guy, either. If they can’t get a deal done, he’s just going to say, ‘[Expletive] it,’ and he’ll play — and he’ll play hard like he always does. I know KD, and he’s not going to sit out or anything like that. He’s not that kind of guy. There’s no way. He’s not going to do anything like that.”
These factors have always been at play, but with Brooklyn initially feeling as if they’re asking price would be met, they weren’t always this relevant. Now, with trade discussions slowing to a stop, the Nets are forced to consider all elements of this situation.
As previously mentioned, Brooklyn is in a better spot than some may feel. If Kevin Durant had less time remaining on his deal, forcing Brooklyn to avoid the possibility of losing him in free agency, the team would likely take the best deal available.
Because Durant has four more years under contract, the Nets have time to attempt reconciliation if that is indeed their best option. While the outcome of this situation is still unknown, Kevin Durant and Joe Tsai are expected to meet this week, which could begin adding clarity on what’s next.