Kevin Durant chose to join Kyrie Irving on the Brooklyn Nets, and the two are bringing DeAndre Jordan with them. Durant is leaving behind the Golden State Warriors, with whom he won two championships but lost in the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors this year.
So why did Durant choose the Nets of all teams? He and Irving supposedly had been talking for a while about teaming up. Durant reportedly wanted to play in New York, but according to Kendrick Perkins, the appeal of the Nets to Durant was the franchise’s direction.
Perkins, a former teammate of Durant on the Oklahoma City Thunder, talked with KNBR’s “Murph & Mac Show” Friday about Durant’s move.
“I think people had speculation that the Knicks were actually the front runners, but they weren’t. In my opinion it was either Brooklyn or going back to Golden State. I asked Kevin what was the reason behind him ultimately choosing Brooklyn and he told me ‘Perk, you’re not stupid, you know why I chose Brooklyn man. Look at the organization and look at the direction they’re going in.’ I think this was probably in the works for at least a couple months now. At least with him and Kyrie and DeAndre Jordan.”
The Nets have impressively turned around their franchise. They went from having no real players and draft assets to adding several key pieces through strategic moves the last few years.
They used their available cap space to acquire D’Angelo Russell in a trade with the Lakers. He just made his first All-Star team. They drafted Caris LeVert (via Indiana) in the first round. Jarrett Allen was a first-round pick of theirs in 2017. Joe Harris and Spencer Dinwiddie were other key acquisitions who have developed nicely. Compared to the Knicks, they are moving in the right direction and have their business in order, which makes their appeal understandable.