It’s been more than a month now since Kevin Durant asked for a trade from the Brooklyn Nets, but there aren’t any indications that the Atlantic Division squad is close to dealing away the future Hall of Famer.
The Nets understandably want a gigantic package for the perennial All-Star, but none of the interested teams have offered a price to Brooklyn’s liking. The regular season is less than three months away, but there doesn’t appear to be any urgency on the Nets’ end to accommodate KD’s request.
Now, a new report suggests that Durant will soon meet with owner Joseph Tsai to discuss the superstar’s trade demand. One league source told Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com the following:
“What I’m hearing is that KD is going to meet with the owner this week. He’s going to go directly to the owner, Joe Tsai, sometime this week. We’ll see how that works.”
Marc Stein sought comment from the Nets on Bulpett’s report, but they declined to do so.
The Nets are among the many teams that New York sports fans place wagers on through the Caesars NY Sportsbook which is currently offering new customers a risk-free bet of up to $1,500.
With Durant still on the roster, the Nets remain one of the top betting favorites to win the 2023 NBA Championship. They share the sixth-best odds with the Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat (+1500) over at Caesars NY, and only seven teams have better odds than the Nets (+1600) at DraftKings.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on July 24 that the Boston Celtics, one of the Nets’ main rivals, “have emerged among teams engaged in talks on a possible deal.”
Boston would be able to offer a package around 25-year-old standout forward Jaylen Brown, draft picks and more, as Wojnarwoski noted. But whether or not Brooklyn would willingly send Durant to a division rival and conference threat remains to be seen.
Fortunately for Brooklyn, All-Star point guard opted into the final year of his contract and is committed to playing a fourth season with the organization. Losing Durant in a trade would hurt, but Irving and Ben Simmons at least give head coach Steve Nash and company a dream guard duo to continue building around.
Durant and Irving signed with the Nets in 2019 free agency. The former missed the entire 2019-20 campaign as he recovered from a torn right Achilles tendon that he suffered in Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors.
Only time will tell if the Durant-Irving partnership in Brooklyn lasts another year. Clearly, the Nets are happy to take their time until a resolution or irresistible offer comes their way.
Seth Curry’s Defense On Ben Simmons: He Doesn’t Need “a Jump Shot”
Nets shooting guard Seth Curry has come to the defense of teammate Ben Simmons, pouring cold water over the notion that the latter needs to improve his jump shot.
“I don’t think he needs a jump shot,” Curry argued. “He’s just got to do what he does best – which is defend, rebound, push the ball, make plays for other people and attack the rim. “When you’ve got the size and talent like him, who takes not one but two and sometimes three guys to stop him getting to the rim, that is a lot in itself.”
The 26-year-old Simmons didn’t play at all in 2021-22, and one can only wonder how much of a difference he could’ve made for Brooklyn in their humiliating first round sweep at the hands of the Celtics.
Simmons sought a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers ahead of the 2021-22 season, but his wish wasn’t granted until Feb. 10. The Nets acquired Simmons and Curry as part of a package deal from Philly which sent 2018 MVP James Harden to the rival 76ers.
The No. 1 pick of the 2016 NBA Draft, however, didn’t suit up for Brooklyn due to a back injury that ultimately required surgery.
Simmons earned NBA All-Defensive First Team in 2020 and 2021, having flourished as one of the game’s elite rebounders and lockdown defenders. With Irving (and possibly Durant) handling the offense, it’ll be interesting to see how Nash utilizes Simmons on the court.
He’s not a big-time scorer (15.9 points per game for his career), nor a scoring threat from beyond the arc, but Simmons’ grade-A defensive game just might help the Nets regain that championship-like form in 2022.