Thursday, June 30 was the day Durant’s business manager Rich Kleiman confirmed the request to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Brooklyn Nets GM Sean Marks is working with Kevin Durant and his business manager Rich Kleiman on finding a trade for the franchise star, Kleiman tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2022
And despite a list of preferred teams and countless trade machine proposals, Durant does not appear to be on the move anytime soon.
What was expected to be an all-time bidding war has not played out as Brooklyn expected.
The Nets front office set the price point at two All-Star caliber players and other capital.
But anybody interested in acquiring the 33-year-old Durant would want to keep All-Star players around him.
Since the available market has been dryer than expected, it is looking increasingly likely Durant will not be moved this offseason.
This is probably the ideal scenario for the Nets.
Unless co-star Kyrie Irving is traded, Brooklyn has no good reason to trade away their megastar forward.
Durant Wouldn’t Garner Equal Value In Return
Superstar trades are hard to work out because the value is almost never equivalent.
One team is receiving a top 15-20 player in the league at or near the peak of his talents.
The other team is…not.
Most of the time, they will receive a player who could potentially be a top 15-20 player in the league one day.
“The executives are going on vacation… At this point, the Nets’ preferred situation is for Kevin Durant to stay with them. There is no trade that they’ve got that they like.”
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) July 15, 2022
That team will also typically receive some role players and draft picks.
With the hope those draft picks are used to draft or trade for a top 15-20 player in the league.
This will likely be the scenario if Durant is ever to be traded.
Brooklyn would not be getting back a player of Durant’s caliber if he was traded.
They would receive a small fortune in draft picks, but what good are those in the here and now?
Any return from a Durant deal would not be as good as keeping Durant himself.
Brooklyn Could Compete Still
Another reason for the Nets not to trade KD is that they still could compete for a title.
Since signing together back in 2019, Durant and Kyrie have played in 58 games together.
The Nets have won a single playoff series across those three seasons while posting a regular season record of 127-99 (.562).
Even given Durant and Kyrie’s lack of availability, the Nets have been a playoff-caliber team.
Why not give it one last chance with both guys fully available?
Obviously, that question comes with serious doubts as Irving is a bit of a wild card.
But he is playing the upcoming season on a player option and may want to prove himself to get a max contract next offseason.
The Nets roster currently:
That’s a damn good roster if you ask me. We will see what happens with KD and Kyrie.
— Brooklyn Netcast (@BrooklynNetcast) July 5, 2022
There is strong competition in the Eastern Conference (Miami, Boston, Milwaukee, Philly) but full seasons from KD and Kyrie make Brooklyn as dangerous as anybody.
With those two powering the offense and Simmons bringing some teeth to the defense, the Nets will be more balanced this season.
Unless Kyrie is dealt along with KD to enter a full-blown rebuild, the Nets have little reason to trade Durant.