Just when you considered the 2022 no cost agency time period was likely to be an Ambien capsule, the Brooklyn Nets soap opera returned to inject an adrenaline needle to the vein.
Just three times after Kyrie Irving defused his individual ticking time bomb by opting to continue to be a Web, Kevin Durant chose to easy his possess exit route. The most recent Nets cleaning soap opera episode began Thursday with a mundane throwaway storyline in which the Nets obtained Utah Jazz defensive stopper Royce O’Neal. Nevertheless, in accordance to The Athletic’s Shams Charania and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Nets are in the procedure of acquiescing a trade demand Durant built to operator Joseph Tsai.
The information shook the earth just days right after Kyrie Irving made the decision to decide-in and dedicate to the Nets for one particular extra season. In retrospect, the vow to satisfy his 4-calendar year commitment to the Nets may perhaps have been a passive-intense elbow in Durant’s course.
When Durant chose to hyperlink up with Irving in Brooklyn, Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck printed a column that stated Durant’s determination.
“Durant had grown weary of the perpetual drama in Golden State, even even though main the Warriors to two straight championships. What some uncovered refreshing about the Warriors — their big personalities, their outspokenness on equally on- and off-court difficulties — Durant discovered distracting. He preferred a team that positioned basketball earlier mentioned all else.”
The optimistic outlook back then was that Irving and Durant’s legitimate friendship would temper their destructive tendencies. Any realist recognized this was generally how it was likely to finish for these two. At the time they had been on the court docket collectively, sparks flew. In 2021, they done just one of the most successful offenses in NBA heritage.
But off the court, they frequently came dangerously shut to detonating. Irving’s focus on basketball was normally tenuous. One particular second, his emphasis was entirely on basketball and the following, he was burned out, having two-week sabbaticals, taking a rigid stance in opposition to the COVID vaccine even if it intended leaving his teammates on the hook. The shocker is that Durant was the just one who pulled the pin on the Nets grenade.
When Durant is traded, it will be his fourth group in six several years. So where by will Durant’s travels get him subsequent? The landscape remaining so fertile for Durant tends to make that tough to pin down, while Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes has described that Durant’s most popular location would be the Phoenix Suns.
Durant’s curiosity can make limited free of charge agent Deandre Ayton a prime sign-and-trade candidate. Phoenix necessary a lifeline this offseason. Their reluctance to indication Ayton to a five-12 months $177 million extension or match the four-calendar year $131 million contract that other teams can indicator him to place them in a challenging posture. Supplied their limited championship window, Phoenix would do what ever it normally takes to slot Durant amongst Devin Booker, perimeter defensive pincer Mikal Bridges and Chris Paul as shortly as possible. The Nets may well desire Bridges as a sacrifice, but it is just one the Suns would make in a warm next.
The Portland Trail Blazers have been lobbying really hard for Durant. Do not be shocked if Mayor Ted Wheeler hosts a dwell push convention to woo KD to their title-starved hoops-obsessed metropolis. Portland has the most effective system of picks and youthful expertise to sacrifice to the Altar of Durant even though sustaining a roster deep sufficient to contend. They could toss several firsts, Anfernee Simons and Shaedon Sharpe in Brooklyn’s way and each teams could be information. The Blazers could combat to keep Simons, but if it gets a dealbreaker, his baggage will be packed for him.
The Lakers tends to make perception on paper. Durant joining LeBron would be the best mashup. For decades, they duked it out as the top-2 players in the league. They’ve equally stumbled from their peaks, but their apex is so significant, that they are continue to continuously leading-five gamers when they are at their worst. From the Brooklyn Nets’ angle, Anthony Davis, 29, may well have enough juice remaining in his tank to be an All-NBA massive for a different 5 a long time. His porcelain bones will often be a worry but when he’s nutritious, he’s an elite, two-way velociraptor.
Miami got the chilly shoulder from Jalen Brunson nowadays following he signed a four-calendar year $110M deal with the Knicks, but re-inserted on their own into the Durant conversations.
Nevertheless, the Warmth really don’t very own a initial-round decide on till 2024 and can’t give up consecutive firsts simply because of The Stepien Rule, which prevents teams from getting without having first-round picks in consecutive drafts. For Brooklyn to surrender a player of Durant’s caliber they’d most likely question for Bam Adebayo. The Nets would be precluded from swapping Durant for Adebayo because of an obscure rule that stops teams from possessing two players who have been obtained via trades while they’re on Specified Rookie Extension contracts. Following investing for Ben Simmons at the trade deadline, the only way Adebayo could wind up on the Nets is if Simmons had been traded. That’s not exterior the realm of possibilities, but not likely simply because his trade stock is in the basement.
Yet, wherever there is a will there is a way. NBA execs have penned the e-book on twisting through corporate loopholes, but just since they can does not necessarily mean they really should.
Two point-centers as the focal issue of the Nets lineup for the upcoming number of many years is as problematic as Embiid and Simmons plodding by way of the rush hour targeted visitors in the paint. Having said that, a 3-workforce trade in which Durant is whisked off to Miami, Bam shipped to one more workforce, who traded their celebrity to Brooklyn would be amenable to Miami and Brooklyn. Obtaining that third team is less difficult explained than done particular.
The Nets will have a pile of solutions to review. In the long run, wherever Durant ends up will upend the league.