Despite more than a month passing since Kevin Durant’s trade request was issued and no team meeting the lofty package requested by the Nets, the superstar is still not changing his stance on wanting to be dealt this offseason.
To this point, we hadn’t heard much about the specifics of Durant’s frustration with the Nets — although it was assumed to be partially related to the lack of an extension agreement being reached with his friend and co-star Kyrie Irving — as Durant has been unusually tight-lipped about his situation on social media and his own podcast. However, on Monday, word broke from Shams Charania that Durant and Nets owner Joe Tsai met again in London, with the future Hall of Famer once again making clear that he wanted a trade away from Brooklyn, but with a very interesting subplot.
Apparently, Durant told Tsai to choose between him or the team’s GM-coach combo of Sean Marks and Steve Nash.
In a face-to-face meeting with Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai over the weekend, All-NBA star Kevin Durant reiterated his trade request and informed Tsai that he needs to choose between Durant or the pairing of general manager Sean Marks and coach Steve Nash, sources tell The Athletic.
Durant stated he does not have faith in the team’s direction, sources said.
It’s a rather incredible move by KD, made all the more interesting considering Nash was hired in part because of his relationship with Durant from their days in Golden State when Nash was a player development coach — and because Durant and Irving wanted Kenny Atkinson fired for a more star-friendly coach. One would think that if it was just about Nash, that move would’ve been made immediately and this whole thing would be handled, but Tsai has given Marks the keys to the franchise and allowed him to wield an incredible amount of power over the basketball side of things.
Charania also notes that Tsai and the Nets have been fully detailed of Durant’s reasoning for the request, with Shams simply noting the star wants “a change of scenery,” so it seems that this might go a bit beyond the leadership of the basketball operations department. There will be plenty of people who think it’s not a hard decision to pick KD over a first-time coach who has not exactly excelled in the role and the GM, but Marks is highly respected around the league and the Nets would be hard-pressed to get a top executive to join their team if it’s clear that the star of the team has hiring and firing power over executives.
This adds just another fascinating layer to the Nets saga, and if anything it only puts more pressure on Marks to get this right because now if the trade goes through the story becomes Brooklyn choosing him over KD. If that’s the case, it’s incumbent on him to succeed in the post-KD/Kyrie/Harden rebuild and reward that decision with at least a conference finals run, which would top the furthest this group has gone with their stars.