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#pounditSunday, December 4, 2022

Kevin Durant open to nuclear option if Nets don’t trade him?

Kevin Durant looks up

Apr 23, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) looks up at the scoreboard in the third quarter against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant reiterated earlier this month that he wants the Brooklyn Nets to trade him, and the two-time NBA Finals MVP may be growing more and more frustrated with the franchise.

Durant initially asked Brooklyn to trade him in June. After weeks of trade talks seemingly going nowhere, he met with Joe Tsai and reportedly gave the Nets owner a choice: either keep Durant and get rid of GM Sean Marks and coach Steve Nash, or trade Durant. According to NBA reporter Marc Stein, some around the league believe Durant genuinely has no intention of playing for the Nets again.

One team executive told Stein last month that he believes Durant is “more apt to retire than play again for the Brooklyn Nets.” Stein said others predict that Durant will continue to become more of a problem behind the scenes if the Nets maintain their unrealistically high asking price in trade talks centered around him.

“If Durant hasn’t been traded by [training camp], there is a growing expectation in league circles that he will continue trying to cause as much of a ruckus behind the scenes to try to prod the Nets into lowering their asking price at last to facilitate a deal,” Stein wrote.

Even with Durant trying to turn up the heat on the Nets, a separate report on Monday claimed they are showing no urgency to trade him. We highly doubt Durant would retire rather than play for Brooklyn next season, but making a threat like that could be his only leverage. He still has four years remaining on his current contract.

There are other ways Durant could create problems for the Nets if he really wants to dig in. Perhaps he is more willing to go that route than many initially believed.


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