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#pounditSaturday, August 13, 2022

Kevin Durant

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.

Report: 3 teams considered most likely Kevin Durant suitors

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 still wants the Brooklyn Nets to trade him, and there are at least three teams that remain interested in acquiring the 12-time All-Star.

Durant met with Nets team owner Joe Tsai in London over the weekend and essentially gave him an ultimatum, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. The choice that he gave Tsai is to either keep Durant and get rid of GM Sean Marks and coach Steve Nash, or fulfill the trade request.

One of the primary reasons Durant has not been traded is the asking price. The Nets are said to have engaged with almost every team in the NBA, but no one is willing to meet their lofty demands. However, Charania notes that three teams are viewed as the “most significant candidates” to land Durant. Those teams are the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat.

The Celtics reportedly offered Brooklyn a package centered around Jaylen Brown. The Nets turned it down and asked for Brown, reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart and multiple draft picks. The belief is that the Nets are interested in what the Celtics could potentially offer. That may not be true for one of the other teams that is pursuing Durant.

The Nets added Royce O’Neale and TJ Warren this offseason. They also had Kyrie Irving opt into his contract and have yet to see how Ben Simmons will fit alongside Durant and Irving. Their preference would almost certainly be to keep Durant, so they may choose him over Nash and Marks.

Report: Kevin Durant gave Nets owner an ultimatum

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

Kevin Durant has given the Brooklyn Nets’ owner an ultimatum.

Durant met with team owner Joe Tsai in London over the weekend. During the meeting, Durant told Tsai two things, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

Durant reportedly reiterated his trade request. Durant also apparently told Tsai he was unhappy with the team’s direction and requested a change to the franchise’s leadership.

Apparently the choice for Tsai is this: either keep Durant and get rid of GM Sean Marks and coach Steve Nash, or trade Durant.

When presented with such an option, the choice seems obvious for Tsai: keep Durant and get rid of Marks and Nash.

Tsai gave power and control over the team to Durant and Kyrie Irving when he signed them in 2019. That means signing players they want, putting up with nonsense, and even firing a coach whose hiring the two approved (Nash).

The Nets added Royce O’Neale and TJ Warren this offseason. They also have Irving on the roster after he opted into his contract. They don’t want to trade Durant and break down the team, so it seems their most natural course of action would be to get rid of their coach and GM.

Kevin Durant has savage response to Twitter troll

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 has always loved sparring with internet trolls, and the Brooklyn Nets star is back at it.

Durant on Monday was randomly mocked by a fan on Twitter who was having a rough morning. The person said he did not mind all the mishaps since, unlike Durant, he enjoys “taking the hardest road.” K.D. had a great rebuttal.

Durant has a tendency to fire back at critics when he would probably be best served ignoring them. We have seen several examples of that from him over the years. That may have been the case in this instance as well, but his response was pretty entertaining.