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#pounditMonday, August 8, 2022

Report: NBA teams are preparing for 1 star player to become available

Adam Silver speaking

Jun 2, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; NBA commissioner Adam Silver talks to media before game one of the 2022 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant is under contract with the Brooklyn Nets for four more seasons, but there have been reports this week that he could request a trade if Kyrie Irving does not remain with the team. Even if that is a long shot, rivals are not ignoring the possibility.

On the latest episode of his podcast, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said teams around the NBA are preparing for Durant to request a trade.

“I can tell you this: Teams are already operating under, not the assumption, but, ‘We need to prepare for the contingency that Kevin Durant is available via trade in 6-7 days,'” Lowe said.

The timeline coincides with the deadline for Irving to make a decision about his player option for next season. Irving has a $36.9 million player option, and many expect him to decline it. He could either sign an extension with the Nets at that point or become a free agent. There is also a chance that Irving will opt in to facilitate a sign-and-trade. He has reportedly given the Nets a list of teams he would want to play for if he leaves.

Durant may be trying to do what he can to help Irving secure a long-term contract. If both stars do leave, however, there will probably be a more intense battle for Durant than Irving.

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