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#pounditWednesday, October 5, 2022

Kevin Durant

Ex-No. 1 pick gives Kevin Durant incredible advice on how to force trade

Kevin Durant in street clothes

Feb 3, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Kevin Durant (7) smiles during a time out during the second quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Former No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Bogut gave Kevin Durant some pretty incredible advice on how to get his way with a trade request.

In late June, Durant requested the Brooklyn Nets trade him even though he has four years left on his current contract. The Nets so far have not relented, and they even seem to be playing hardball with the former MVP.

So, what can Durant do at this point? Bogut says one simple tweet would fix things.

“An easy way for KD to get out of @joetsai1999’s @BrooklynNets that no NBA analyst is discussing.

“A simple tweet: “Free Hong Kong, Free Taiwan”.

“Gone the next day…..,” Bogut tweeted.

Bogut, a former NBA champion and 3rd-team All-NBA player, was alluding to the NBA’s favoritism towards China. Former Rockets GM Daryl Morey got into trouble with the league and ended up losing his job for tweeting “Free Hong Kong” in 2019. Enes Kanter says his pro-Hong Kong and China callouts have cost him a spot in the league.

Let’s not forget that Nets owner Joe Tsai is the founder of Alibaba, a huge e-commerce hub in China. Tsai tried to get Morey fired in 2019.

Durant coming out and suddenly taking an anti-China stance publicly would probably get him dropped by the Nets in a second.

Maybe KD should keep that ace up his sleeve.

Kevin Durant gets into it with Twitter trolls again over move to Warriors

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 is trying to navigate through another drama-filled offseason, but the Brooklyn Nets star always seems to find time to go at it with trolls on social media.

Durant was once again irked on Sunday by some fans on Twitter who criticized him for signing with the Golden State Warriors six years ago. These particular K.D. haters said the 12-time All-Star ruined his legacy and negatively impacted the NBA by leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder for Golden State. Of course, Durant strongly disagrees.

As we have seen him do in the past, Durant then began firing off replies left and right.

For better or worse, Durant never tunes out all of the noise. It probably serves as his primary source of motivation, which is why he has shown no signs of slowing down.

Durant’s detractors absolutely loved when the Warriors won a championship this year without him (again). K.D. had some advice for those trolls after the NBA Finals that he should probably considering taking himself.

Could Kevin Durant take drastic step with Nets?

Kevin Durant dribbles the ball

Oct 11, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) in action against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant in June requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. It’s now mid-August, and the former NBA MVP remains with Brooklyn. Would KD consider a drastic measure to get his way? That could be possible.

Brian Windhorst spent much of his Friday episode of “Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective” podcast talking about Durant’s situation. Windhorst said he felt the Nets won the recent showdown between Durant and team owner Joe Tsai. But Windy doesn’t necessarily think that means all is over between the sides.

In fact, Windhorst says he now could see a world where Durant holds out of training camp.

“A week ago, if you had asked me, ‘Will Kevin Durant hold out of training camp if he is not traded?’ I would have been like, ‘eh, I can’t see it.’ Now I can see it. That is what we are headed towards,” Windhorst said.

Some analysts speculated that the Nets would play hardball with Durant. Brooklyn’s calculation would have depended upon Durant’s love of basketball. The thinking was that KD loves playing too much to sit out a season in order to get his way.

Now Windhorst says he thinks a scenario of Durant sitting out could be on the table.

There is some thinking that Durant is trying to be as difficult as possible for the Nets in order to force a trade. Whether he gets his way remains to be seen.

Draymond Green has interesting take on Kevin Durant

Draymond Green in a warmup shirt

May 18, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) before game one of the 2022 western conference finals against the Dallas Mavericks at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Draymond Green might be getting Kevin Durant mad online again with his latest comments.

The Golden State Warriors star Green did a mailbag segment on an episode this week of his podcast for The Volume. One fan sent in a question asking Green who he thought was the better pure scorer — Carmelo Anthony in his prime or Durant in his prime. Green surprisingly chose Anthony.

“I’m going to go with Melo,” said Green. “And the reason I’m gonna go with Melo is because I grew up watching Melo score the basketball. Melo came to the league in ’03. I was 13 years old. I grew up watching Melo get a bucket however you wanted.

“You wanted mid-post work, [his] first step [was] crazy,” added Green about Anthony. “You wanted straight block work, [his] fadeaway [was] tough, and Melo will bully the hell out of somebody. You want the trey ball, we all know he can do that. He’s just a three-point shooter for the USA Team. We all know USA Olympic Melo is crazy. [He can] get to the free-throw line.”

Green, one of the premier defenders of this NBA generation, played (and reached the mountaintop) with both stars. Green and Anthony won Olympic gold together at Rio in 2016. Meanwhile, Green and Durant won two NBA championships together on the Golden State Warriors in 2017 and 2018 (plus Olympic gold at Rio in 2016 and at Tokyo in 2020).

As Green hinted at, Anthony was probably the more fundamentally sound and versatile scorer. He could get buckets by facing up or having his back to the basket. Anthony was also averaging almost ten foul shots per game at his apex and won a scoring title in his late prime in 2012-13. But Durant, with four scoring titles to his own name, is likely the more gifted scorer at 6-foot-10 with the ball-handling ability of a guard. Durant’s high release makes his shot near-impossible to block, and he is a 50-40-90 threat every single year.

Green did take a very long time to decide between Anthony and Durant and admitted at the end that there might not be a wrong answer. But this may be a repeat of earlier this year when Durant interpreted some other remarks that Green made about him as shade.

Kevin Durant had specific strategy with Nets ultimatum?

Kevin Durant with a hood on

May 8, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) warms up before game against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant’s attempts to force a trade from the Brooklyn Nets escalated with his ultimatum to owner Joe Tsai. That ultimatum may have been part of a bigger plan on Durant’s part to make a trade happen.

Rival teams believe Durant never actually expected the Nets to accept his demands and fire coach Steve Nash and GM Sean Marks, according to NBA writer Marc Stein. Instead, other teams believe Durant is trying to create as much behind-the-scenes drama as possible with the hope that the Nets will ultimately get sick of it and lower their asking price.

If Durant expected his ultimatum to fall flat, he was ultimately proven correct. If Durant’s strategy really does involve creating as much drama as possible, that ultimatum probably is not his last move.

Thus far, the Nets have been unflinching in keeping their demands high in any Durant trade. If that does not change, it’s unclear what Durant’s next move might be.

Report: Celtics make surprising player off-limits in Kevin Durant talks

Kevin Durant with a hood on

May 8, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) warms up before game against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics are viewed as one of the favorites to land Kevin Durant if the Brooklyn Nets trade the 12-time All-Star, but you may be surprised by their unwillingness to include one player in any potential deal.

According to Kurt Helin of NBC Sports, the Celtics have made it known that big man Robert Williams is not available in trade talks. A previous report claimed Boston offered the Nets a package that included star swingman Jaylen Brown and several draft picks. Brooklyn countered by asking the Celtics to add reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart to the deal.

There was no talk of Williams being included, though it would not be a surprise if Brooklyn wanted him. The 24-year-old big man is an outstanding interior defender and played a big role in Boston’s deep playoff run. He averaged 10.0 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and 0.9 steals per game during the regular season.

For what it’s worth, Durant reportedly wants to play with Smart. It is unclear if the Nets would accept any deal from the Celtics that does not include Smart or Williams.

The Nets have attached an extremely high asking price to Durant. They may not have much leverage after Durant recently gave them an ultimatum.

Kevin Durant wants to play with ex-Nets teammate?

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

The relationship between Kevin Durant and James Harden seemed to go downhill in a hurry when the two were teammates with the Brooklyn Nets, but apparently those differences are a thing of the past.

A report on Wednesday claimed Durant has two preferred landing spots if the Nets trade him, and one of them is Philadelphia. Harden, of course, plays for the 76ers and signed a contract extension with them this offseason. Many are skeptical that Durant would want to play with Harden again, but Frank Isola of SiriusXM NBA Radio says that is the case.

Before the Nets traded Harden to Philadelphia, there were numerous stories about how Durant was frustrated with Harden’s lack of conditioning and effort. The general consensus was that Durant could have stepped in and stopped Brooklyn from dealing Harden, but he chose not to. Durant was even supposedly skeptical of an injury that forced Harden to sit out at one point.

Either those reports were exaggerated, or Durant has gotten over all of that. Perhaps he simply knows he would have a much better chance to win a title with the Sixers.

Kevin Durant was unhappy about 1 particular Nets personnel decision?

Kevin Durant dribbles

Oct 11, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) in action against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Another piece of the puzzle may be falling into place in the summer of Kevin Durant’s discontent.

Josh Kosman and Brian Lewis of the New York Post reported this week on the issues between Durant and the Brooklyn Nets. In particular, the report notes that, among other things, the former MVP Durant was not consulted when the team fired assistant coach and director of player development Adam Harrington at the end of the 2021-22 season.

Harrington had worked for the Nets since 2016 and has history with Durant dating back to the superstar’s time with the Oklahoma City Thunder (when Harrington served as his personal trainer). You can read more about the close relationship between Durant and Harrington here.

The 33-year-old Durant continues to pursue a trade out of Brooklyn, and he recently delivered a major ultimatum to the team. His trade request initially seemed like it came out of left field, especially after Durant’s co-star, Kyrie Irving, recommitted to the Nets. But now we know that the pot may have been brewing here for a while.

Report: Kevin Durant has 2 preferred landing spots

Kevin Durant in street clothes

Feb 3, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Kevin Durant (7) smiles during a time out during the second quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

As Kevin Durant ramps up his efforts to force a trade from the Brooklyn Nets, he may be eyeing two particular teams as potential landing spots.

The Boston Celtics are a “desired landing spot” of Durant’s, according to Ian Begley of SNY. Durant would also be interested in the Philadelphia 76ers, Begley says. Some members of the 76ers have pushed for the team to engage in trade talks, though no serious discussions have occurred.

The problem with a trade becomes the same one that has plagued Durant trade talks since the Nets star’s initial request. It would be very difficult for these teams to acquire Durant without trading away some of the players that make them appealing to Durant in the first place. Begley notes that Durant would like to play with Boston’s Marcus Smart, but some reports have suggested that the Nets have targeted Smart as part of a package in exchange for Durant.

On paper, the Nets and Celtics would seem to have the pieces and mutual interest in making a trade work. Such a trade might have to involve Jaylen Brown and Smart, which may ultimately be more than Boston is willing to do. If the price Brooklyn sets is too steep, it will not matter how badly Durant wants to play for the Celtics.

Report: 1 longshot team still pursuing Kevin Durant trade

Kevin Durant in street clothes

Feb 3, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Kevin Durant (7) smiles during a time out during the second quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

One NBA team is doing a “never tell me the odds.”

Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News reported on Tuesday that the New Orleans Pelicans remain interested in trading for crabby Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant. Winfield notes that the Pelicans have several high-upside youngsters to offer as well as the remaining draft capital that they received from the trading of ex-stars Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday.

Some of the players New Orleans can dangle in a trade package for Durant are All-Star forward Brandon Ingram, All-Rookie Second Teamer Herbert Jones, breakout defensive pest Jose Alvarado, and ex-first-rounders Jaxson Hayes, Kira Lewis Jr., and Trey Murphy III, none of whom have even blown out 25 candles yet. CJ McCollum, Devonte’ Graham, and Jonas Valanciunas are a few older players that can be used to sweeten the pot as well (though former No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson is likely off the table, having recently been supermaxed by the Pelicans).

Granted, New Orleans is built to compete for an NBA title multiple years down the road instead of right now (which will be doubly so if they empty out their piggy bank for Durant). They also remain nowhere to be found on the list of likeliest trade destinations for Durant. But unfazed, the Pelicans look to be betting on the strength of their trade assets as well as on the prior relationship that head coach Willie Green built with Durant in Golden State.