(CTN News) – Kevin Durant asked the Brooklyn Nets for a trade on Thursday, according to his business manager Rich Kleiman, in a move that could impact the NBA for years to come.
According to Kleiman, Nets general manager Sean Marks is working with Durant and Kleiman on finding a trade.
This week Durant signed a four-year contract extension, meaning that any team acquiring him will have him through 2026, making him all the more valuable as a trade chip.
Wojnarowski reports that Durant has named the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat as potential trade destinations. The Nets, though, are not keen on honoring Durant’s wish list and expect to make a deal that allows them the greatest return of assets.
Sources told Wojnarowski that more than half the NBA teams have already inquired about what it will take to get Durant from Brooklyn, just one of the reasons the Nets are seeking an historically high return for him.
Since last week’s friction between the franchise and Kyrie Irving surfaced, Durant’s decision to ask for a trade is the culmination of a week of uncertainty surrounding the Nets.
Aside from the Los Angeles Lakers, LA Clippers, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks and Philadelphia 76ers, Irving was unable to find a suitable sign-and-trade for the Nets to make from his preferred list of destinations.
Sources told Wojnarowski that only the Lakers wanted to give Irving a max contract, and the Lakers did not have anything appealing to offer the Nets that would prompt a sign-and-trade deal.
Kevin Durant and Irving had no communication with the Nets after Irving signed his $37 million deal on Monday, and it was inevitable Durant would eventually ask for a trade, sources told Wojnarowski.
It is now all about Durant, 33, a 12-time All-Star and four-time league scoring champion, who could be available with four years and nearly $200 million left on his contract.
Three years ago, Durant and Irving jointly announced they were moving to Brooklyn as free agents. The two played a combined 58 games together (including playoff games) over three seasons in Brooklyn, including one during which Durant played through an Achilles injury.
In many observers’ eyes, Brooklyn was the favorite to win the NBA championship this past season with Durant, Irving, and James Harden. As a result, the Nets finished seventh in the Eastern Conference with a 44-38 record. The Boston Celtics swept them in the first round after they escaped the play-in tournament.
While he recovered from an MCL injury, Durant averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.4 assists in 55 regular-season games.
Considering Moses Malone was traded from Houston to Philadelphia after the 1981-82 season, it would be the highest scoring average by a player starting the next season on a new team since.
After Kevin Durant trade request was announced, sportsbooks adjusted the odds for the Suns to win the NBA championship next season.
In Caesars Sportsbook, Phoenix’s title odds are now 11-2. After Golden State Warriors, Boston is 13-1, followed by the champions Golden State Warriors at 6-1. On Thursday afternoon, Miami’s title odds improved from 16-1 to 8-1, while the Nets’ odds increased from 15-2 to 30-1.
Separately, Wojnarowski reported that the Nets acquired Portland forward Royce O’Neale from the Jazz in exchange for a first round pick in 2023.
Wojnarowski reported that Brooklyn, Houston and Philadelphia will pick the lesser pick.
His averages this past season with the Jazz were 7.4 points and 4.8 rebounds. He is under contract for the season this year as well as a non-guaranteed season in 2023-24.
Kevin Durant announced his signing with the Nets on June 30, 2019.
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