Kevin Durant requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets at the start of the free agency period.
The team agreed to oblige his request, but has moved slowly thus far.
Part of that has to do with how poor the offers have been. Nets personnel is reportedly shocked at how little legitimate demand there has been for their star player.
But part of it also has to do with a particularly sticky NBA rule that is making putting together a deal slightly more difficult.
The rule in question pertains to “Designated Rookies,” which is a caveat that permits organizations to sign guys fresh off of rookie deals to a five-year extensions instead of the usual four. Each squad gets two slots of this nature.
Unfortunately, that rule also comes with a very specific asterisk: only one “Designated Rookie” can be acquired via trade. And the Nets already have one in Ben Simmons. Meaning that unless he gets dealt, Brooklyn can’t acquire another one.
It also means that the team cannot swap Durant for any of the following players: Jayson Tatum, Bam Adebayo, Karl-Anthony Towns, Devin Booker, Andrew Wiggins, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, De’Aaron Fox, Donovan Mitchell or Jamal Murray.
Hence this trade being a lot more difficult to put together than most originally assumed it would be.
That’s not to say other deals can’t be structured for Durant.
The Los Angeles Lakers’ best offer for Durant is out there. Ditto for the Boston Celtics’ proposal. And the Toronto Raptors’ proposal. And the Portland Trail Blazers’ proposal.
This Zach Wilson thing gets crazier by the day.https://t.co/4P1DN7k9PI
— Game 7 (@game7__) July 12, 2022
But when you take some of the league’s best players off the board, it makes things much harder.
Durant has two pretty big problems with the Nets. Both seem unfixable at this point. A trade feels inevitable.
However, it may take a while. And the longer it lasts, the more of an impact it will have on all parties involved and how they can prepare for the 2022-23 NBA season.
Related: Scottie Pippen’s Blunt Reaction To Kevin Durant’s Trade Request