For the past couple of weeks there has been little movement on the Kevin Durant trade front, as executives around the league take vacations and most of the trade chatter has died down — with some reports here and there about previous offers for Durant coming out, like the Celtics’ Jaylen Brown package.
However, on Monday we got the closest thing to a substantial report regarding Durant and the Nets as we’ve gotten in some time, as Shams Charania reported the star had met with owner Joe Tsai in London this weekend and laid down an ultimatum. Durant doubled down on his trade request, unless Tsai was willing to completely change his organizational structure by firing head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks. That, naturally, sparked plenty of chatter on Twitter as fans wondered whether the Nets should (or would) choose Durant over their GM — one has to feel that Nash would be gone if this was just about him.
On Monday night, we got our answer in the form of a tweet from Tsai himself that made clear which side he was choosing in this situation.
Our front office and coaching staff have my support. We will make decisions in the best interest of the Brooklyn Nets.
— Joe Tsai (@joetsai1999) August 8, 2022
That leaves no uncertainty about how the Nets are proceeding, but it would sure seem to escalate things between the Nets and Durant to do this publicly. It’s not a surprise Tsai is doing this, as it’d be a pretty terrible look to leak that demand from Durant (which pretty clearly came from the team side as KD has no reason to put that out there) and then give in to it. It’s clear Tsai is trying to draw a line in the sand here and show that the Nets are no longer going to be a team run by star demands, but they’re honestly a bit late with that declaration and now things get sticky.
The price tag on Durant sure doesn’t sound like it’s getting lowered, and to this point no one has really come close to meeting their demands. That’s probably not going to change in the immediate, as there’s no reason for teams to put their best offer out there in mid-August, but as training camp nears, we’ll start to see pressure mount on all sides to get this done and not let it linger into the season.