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#pounditWednesday, October 5, 2022

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant debuts on TikTok with interesting first post

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

Kevin Durant was born in the 1980s, and that has never been more apparent to him than it was this week.

The Brooklyn Nets star forward debuted on TikTok over the weekend after previously not having an account on the social platform. Durant’s first post showed him in a hoodie staring into the camera for several seconds. He then looked off-screen and said in a deadpan voice, “Bruh, how I work this s–t?”

Here is the hilarious video from Durant’s new TikTok profile @2way3level (but obviously watch out for the bad language).

That is about the most that we have heard from Durant in the last several weeks. After formally requesting a trade from the Nets last month, the ex-MVP has reportedly gone radio silent, even with his NBA peers.

Durant is far from alone though when it comes to struggling to understand Gen Z trends. At least his TiKTok debut was nowhere near as cringeworthy as this fellow sports figure’s was.

Report: Nets have little interest in 1 team’s Kevin Durant trade pieces

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 persistent rumors linking Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors will not go away, but any trade effort appears to have run into a big roadblock.

In a new episode of “The Lowe Post” podcast, via RealGM, ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported that the Brooklyn Nets do not appear to have significant interest in taking on key pieces like Jordan Poole or Andrew Wiggins in a Durant deal. The only other assets the Warriors could offer at that point are younger, unproven players that would not be of much interest to Brooklyn.

Wiggins presents an issue of his own. He would likely need to be included in any Durant trade for salary cap purposes, but the Nets could not roster him and Ben Simmons at the same time due to their designated player extensions.

A Durant-Warriors reunion has been rumored since Durant’s trade request, and Steph Curry seemed to be pushing for it at one point. However, Golden State does not appear to be seriously pursuing it at this point. Part of that may be down to how logistically difficult it would be, especially with Brooklyn not terribly eager to take on what the Warriors might be able to offer.

1 prominent team appears to be out of running for Kevin Durant

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

The Kevin Durant outcome that would melt the most faces now appears to be safely off the table.

Mark Medina of NBA.com said this week that the defending champion Golden State Warriors look to be comfortable with their current core. In other words, do not expect them to reunite with the former MVP Durant, Medina adds.

Medina also cited a comment recently made by Warriors GM Bob Myers.

“I like our team and where it’s at,” Myers said to NBA.com. “I want to give the guys a chance to do it again.”

Durant, who continues to pursue a trade from the Brooklyn Nets, played for the Warriors from 2016 to 2019, winning two back-to-back titles and Finals MVP awards with them. Momentum toward a possible reunion seemed to be gaining steam in recent weeks, and even Steph Curry sounded fully onboard.

But with the Warriors having literally just won another NBA championship without him, a Durant return to Golden State might somehow be even softer than his initial move in 2016. It probably does not make sense either for the Warriors to gut their core (e.g. by giving up Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, and/or Moses Moody) to get Durant when they are already a proven title team as is. But that said, Golden State might still be facing a roster shake-up this summer for different reasons.

Unexpected team emerging as possible Kevin Durant suitor?

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 continues to pursue a trade, one team may be emerging from the tunnel like Mr. McMahon.

Sam Amico of Hoops Wire reported this week that the Washington Wizards are a team to watch in the Durant sweepstakes, noting that they could make “a major push” for the former NBA MVP.

ESPN’s Bobby Marks had also previously mentioned that the Wizards could be a potential wild-card team for Durant.

One big advantage the Wizards would have for Durant is the homecoming factor. The Brooklyn Nets star was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in nearby Prince George’s County, Md. But beyond that, it is tough to envision the Wizards cobbling together a competitive trade package.

Franchise player Bradley Beal will not be traded for a variety of reasons. As such, the Nets would have to say “yes” to a package featuring some combo of Kristaps Porzingis, Rui Hachimura, Kyle Kuzma, Deni Avdija, and/or Corey Kispert. Porzingis and Kuzma are both under contract for just one more guaranteed season each, and Hachimura is probably the only intriguing talent otherwise (and even he regressed in his age-23 campaign last year).

The Wizards did previously try for Durant the last time he was available. But given their current situation, they would have to do one heck of a sell job on Durant and the Nets to even remotely be in the discussion for such a trade.

Report: 1 team ‘very motivated’ to trade for Kevin Durant

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

There are several teams that have discussed the possibility of trading for Kevin Durant, but there is one that may be trying a bit harder than the rest to land the two-time NBA Finals MVP.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on Monday’s edition of “Get Up” that the Miami Heat remain “very motivated” to find a way to acquire Durant. One of the reasons negotiations have been complicated is that Bam Adebayo and Ben Simmons cannot be on the same team. NBA rules prohibit teams from having two players on their roster who are playing under Designated Rookie contracts.

“(The Nets have) got to get value for him and they’ve got to get significant value for him. The trade scenarios out there are still complex,” Wojnarowski said. “Miami is a very motivated team, but Bam Adebayo and Ben Simmons can’t be on a team together based on their contracts. There would have to be a lot of third and fourth team involvement.”

The Phoenix Suns also remain interested, but they can no longer trade Deandre Ayton until midway through next season after matching the offer sheet the Indiana Pacers signed him to. You can hear more from Woj below:

Miami has made Durant a priority, but they need to find a way to satisfy the Nets’ demands. That will be no easy task.

If the Heat can’t work something out with the Nets, they may turn their attention toward Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell. Though, there would be some obstacles in a trade like that, too.

Ex-Nets player calls out Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving

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

One former Brooklyn Nets player is calling it like he sees it.

Veteran guard Langston Galloway spoke this week at a court dedication ceremony in his native Baton Rouge, La. During his remarks, Galloway called out Nets stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving for holding up the market with their respective trade pursuits.

“Right now [Durant] and [Irving] are holding things up,” Galloway said, per Robin Fambrough of The New Orleans Advocate. “Once what those guys do is decided, things will fall into place for the rest of us.”

The eight-year NBA veteran Galloway was briefly with the Nets last season on a ten-day contract. But teams may not be lining up around the block to sign him, regardless of what happens with Durant and Irving, as Galloway had just 3.0 points and 1.3 assists a game in Brooklyn. During Galloway’s last full NBA season with the Phoenix Suns in 2020-21, he averaged 4.8 points and 0.7 assists per game in 40 appearances.

Still, Galloway’s greater point is well taken as many notable free agents (like Collin Sexton, Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell, Carmelo Anthony, and Blake Griffin) remain unsigned. But if any of those players are waiting for the Durant and Irving dominoes to fall, they may be waiting for a while.

Nets changing stance on Kevin Durant trade?

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 Brooklyn Nets appeared willing to grant Kevin Durant’s trade request, but only on their terms. That caveat may lead to big changes in how both sides approach things ahead of the upcoming season.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said Friday that the Nets have not found a trade they like for Durant and at this point would prefer to simply keep him, via RealGM. Windhorst even suggested that some believe Durant could back off his demand with the situation developing the way it has.

“At this point, the Nets’ preferred situation is for Kevin Durant to stay with them. There is no trade they they’ve got that they like,” Windhorst said. “A huge question and what the league is in some ways waiting for is what does Durant feel? He’s the one who asked for the trade. Have his feelings changed with some of the avenues for trades dimming?”

Durant wants to be traded to a contender, but Brooklyn has maintained an incredibly high asking price in trade talks. That means that to acquire Durant, teams would essentially have to give up the types of core players that Durant would want to play with. If that is the only scenario he might be traded into, it might make sense for him to reconsider his request.

One NBA legend thinks Durant will end up staying with the Nets after all. Momentum toward that outcome may be growing, but it is certainly too soon to know for sure.

Heat having issues in trade discussions for Kevin Durant, Donovan Mitchell

Donovan Mitchell warming up

Dec 7, 2019; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) warms up prior to their game against the Memphis Grizzlies at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat are looking for ways to make a big splash on the trade market, but they have run into some obstacles that may be difficult to overcome.

The Heat have been involved in trade discussions for both Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell. According to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, Miami has yet to propose a trade for Durant that the Brooklyn Nets would consider. The reason for that is that the Heat have not come up with a way to meet Brooklyn’s asking price while also being able to assemble a championship-caliber roster around Durant and Jimmy Butler. Those same issues have probably come up in any talks they have had with the Utah Jazz about Mitchell.

Utah may not be interested in what the Heat have to offer, anyway. Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune reported on Thursday that the Jazz want the Heat to involve a third team in any potential trade talks for Mitchell.

The Jazz appear to have reset the trade market when they traded Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a package headlined by Patrick Beverley, Malik Beasley and four first-round picks. Utah probably wants even more than that for Mitchell, and the Brooklyn Nets certainly expect a greater return in any Durant deal.

There is one team that seems to have the assets that would be needed to acquire a player like Mitchell or Durant. It remains a strong possibility that neither player is moved.

Steph Curry’s reported stance on Kevin Durant trade revealed

Stephen Curry during a playoff game

Jun 13, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) gestures after defeating the Boston Celtics in game five of the 2022 NBA Finals at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors continue to be mentioned as a potential suitor for Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry is apparently very open to reuniting with his former teammate.

According to Rich Bucher of FOX Sports, Curry has reached out to Durant multiple times this offseason to talk about the possibility of playing together again.

Bucher discussed the idea on Thursday’s edition of “First Things First” on FOX Sports 1.

“I was in Las Vegas last week for Summer League, and someone from KD’s camp told me that Steph Curry was among the stars around the league who had reached out to KD to find out exactly what he was thinking,” Bucher said. “The point being made that Steph was not opposed to KD, in spite of the way things ended, to KD coming back to the Warriors.

Bucher said Curry is motivated in part by wanting to win a fifth title so he would have one more championship than LeBron James.

“There’s a lot of hoops to jump through, but the point being made is Steph is looking for, ‘What’s going to make me better? What’s going to make us better?'” the NBA insider added. “There’s no concern about the way things ended. There’s no conflict with KD as far as Steph is concerned. He’s just looking for the best way possible to potentially win a fifth championship.”

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst recently pointed out that Curry has the ability to put the Durant rumors to rest, but the two-time NBA MVP has not done that.

There is at least one significant hurdle standing in the way of Durant returning to Golden State. Even if the Warriors got past that, they would still have to give up a ton of assets. They just proved — once again — that they don’t need Durant to win a title. It is hard to imagine the deal coming together.

Jerry West makes interesting prediction about Kevin Durant

Jerry West in a suit

Mar 15, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; LA Clippers executive board member Jerry West reacts in the first half against the Chicago Bulls at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant has asked the Brooklyn Nets to trade him, but one Hall of Famer and longtime NBA executive does not think that request is going to be fulfilled.

Los Angeles Lakers legend Jerry West, who is now an executive board member with the Los Angeles Clippers, shared some of his thoughts on the Durant situation this week. West said he believes Durant will remain with the Nets because it is highly unlikely a rival team can afford the two-time NBA Finals MVP.

“I see Utah makes a trade with Minnesota and I said, ‘Oh my gosh.’ The assets they got for a terrific defensive player,” West said. “What would Kevin Durant demand? He’s one of the greatest players to ever play the game, period.”

West was referring to the Rudy Gobert trade. The Timberwolves gave up a package headlined by Patrick Beverley, Malik Beasley and four first-round draft picks to acquire Gobert from the Jazz. The Nets are said to be seeking an enormous package for Durant in large part because of the price that was paid in the Gobert trade.

Keep in mind that West is a two-time NBA Executive of the Year, so he understands how trades work. It is easy to envision a scenario where the Nets feel they simply cannot get fair value for Durant, who has four years remaining on his contract. Perhaps Durant will change his mind after speaking with his good buddy.