The Brooklyn Nets and Kevin Durant appear to be locked in something of a stalemate at this point.
Durant seems to want out of his current situation.
Brooklyn has expressed a public willingness to grant Durant his clemency, but hasn’t actually followed through beyond lip service.
This week, ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst offered some insight into where all sides stand.
“I think what we have here is really a study of leverage. First off, the Nets do not have leverage in trade talks with other teams,” Windhorst said.
“They are not giving them the offers that they want. They see no reason to increase them. And so they’re not making any progress there. And Kevin Durant clearly does not have leverage with the Brooklyn Nets. He is asking for things: ‘Get me traded. Fire the coach. Fire the GM.’ He is being told no. So when you have denied leverage, you have a stalemate.”
If by some miracle a trade does occur, one team has quietly emerged as the clear frontrunner to make something happen: the Philadelphia 76ers.
“76ers feelings on a Kevin Durant pairing are mutual, I’m told,” reported NBA insider Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson.
A source of his then took things one step further.
“That sh*t is real,” the source said. “When KD made that ultimatum, the Sixers were right on the phone.”
The real question at this point is whether Philly has enough worthwhile tradeable assets to make something happen. To date, no team’s offerings have piqued the Nets’ interest.
The Los Angeles Lakers’ best offer for Durant is a matter of public record. As is the Boston Celtics’. As is the Portland Trail Blazers’. Meanwhile, the New Orleans Pelicans rejected Brooklyn’s Durant trade offer to them, so that didn’t work out either. The same occurred in negotiations between the Toronto Raptors and Nets.
According to ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, one team is most ‘determined’ to land Durant – but that determination has yet to yield substantive results.
The next few weeks promise to be interesting.
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 15, 2022
If the Nets can find a worthwhile deal, be it with the Sixers or anyone else, a training camp disaster can be avoided by all sides.
But if they don’t, we could be eyeing a “will he, won’t he” scenario regarding whether Durant will sit out of the looming 2022-23 NBA season a la Ben Simmons in an attempt to force a trade.