After all the talk about Kevin Durant requesting a trade from the Brooklyn Nets several weeks ago, Durant and the Brooklyn Nets have finally got on good terms, and Durant will remain a Brooklyn Net. This summer has been a roller coaster for the Nets since their loss to the Boston Celtics. Brooklyn was the only team that swept in the playoffs, having the best scoring duo in the NBA with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
For the past two seasons, the Nets have been one of the favorites to win the championship, but off-the-court antics with Kyrie Irving and the Nets have had some minor setbacks with injuries and with James Harden departing from Brooklyn. One of the main reasons Brooklyn entered the playoffs as the 8th seed was Irving’s stance on not getting vaccinated and being a part-time player. When Durant missed some time throughout the season because of injury, the Nets went from the top seed in the Eastern Conference to fighting to make the play-in-tournament.
Photo Cred: The Ringer
Bringing back Kyrie as a part-time player fractured the locker room. Kyrie Irving’s status with opting in or out and becoming a free agent shadowed the team. Brooklyn decided not to give Irving a long-term contract because of all the shenanigans due to not getting the vaccine and being a part-time player. Reports of Kyrie to the Lakers suffered, but no talks emerged. When the Jazz traded Rudy Gobert for multiple players and a haul of first-round picks, they reset the market. Even after a demand that the Nets get rid of their head coach and GM, cooler heads prevailed.
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Nobody had a package good enough for an all-time great. The Nets did not rush into trying to trade for Durant because when you have a player like Kevin Durant, you need to get equal value for him. The reality is there are none. This team has a big 3 of KD, Kyrie, Ben Simmions, and great shooting. It would be foolish not to see what this team could do. The Brooklyn Nets stayed firm even when Durant called for Steve Nash and Sean Marks’ jobs.
Photo Cred: http://www.elitesportsny.com
The Nets also knew that Durant owned their franchise since Durant joined Brooklyn in the summer of 2019; the Nets organization has done everything Durant and Irving have asked despite saying they did not need a head coach. KD had no leverage being under a four-year contract that starts this season. It seemed like Durant had finally accepted there was no trade to happen. He decided to resend his trade request.
Durant made the right decision to return to the Nets because when you think about the roster and what they have around Durant and Kyrie and with the addition of Ben Simmons. The Nets also have a great supporting cast around the big three. If everybody buys in and is on the same page this season, the Nets have a great chance to win the title this upcoming season.
Although the Brooklyn Nets have a complete roster on paper, one thing Brooklyn has shown for the past three seasons is that they do not have a true leader who holds everybody accountable on the team. Durant and Irving have yet to show they can lead a team to a championship. Will this be the year that we see that from both players?