The biggest NBA news of the summer just came to an anti-climactic ending. Kevin Durant, who requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets, agreed to move forward with the team next season. That basically puts an end to all of the trade rumors that have been going on for nearly two months.
Or so you would think, right?
The recent news definitely means that Kevin Durant will be starting next season in a Brooklyn Nets uniform, but will that last the rest of the season? There are a few reasons why that might not be the case. The Kevin Durant sweepstakes isn’t over yet; it might have only been delayed. There might still be a chance that Kevin Durant is traded before the end of next season. Here are some of the reasons why that might be the case.
Source of Issue Not Resolved
There was obviously something bothering Kevin Durant that led to him demanding a trade in the first place. It was initially believed that Brooklyn’s refusal to offer Kyrie Irving a long-term extension might have discouraged Kevin Durant. He is good friends with his costar and he is the main reason why Irving was brought to the team to play with Durant in Brooklyn.
A more recent discovery is that Kevin Durant was very frustrated with the leadership of the organization, specifically the GM and head coach Steve Nash. That might be related to the Irving situation, especially because Irving might not be so fond of them either in terms of leading the Nets to a bright future. Whatever the reason was, it cast some doubt into Kevin Durant’s future with the Nets.
Kyrie Irving is still on a one year deal, Sean Marks is still the Nets GM, and Steve Nash is still the head coach. None of those issues had been resolved. The Nets might have had a discussion with KD to talk over the situation and assure him that they would help him move forward with the organization, but that might not last forever. The amount of trust that KD can put in the Nets organization was damaged, even if it has been temporarily patched up. The next reason is why Kevin Durant’s frustration with the Nets might return.
Brooklyn Destined for Drama
It is worth noting that it was Kevin Durant who wished to have Kyrie Irving and Steve Nash around him in Brooklyn. That being said, the situation surrounding Kevin Durant has been a complete disaster the past couple of years. The team has not yet met expectations for any season with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on the team.
Drama seems to follow this team. The team has suffered injuries, like all teams do, but this is more than that. Kyrie missed nearly half the season last year because he refused to get vaccinated. That decision had a domino effect. James Harden, who was on the team at the time, grew frustrated at the situation, leading to Harden forcing his way out of Brooklyn and breaking up one of the greatest basketball trios ever assembled.
The player that they traded Harden for was Ben Simmons. He did not play at all last season, even when the Nets could have used him in the playoffs to avoid getting swept by the Boston Celtics. A little backstory on Simmons, he is a former all-star for the Philadelphia 76ers who was supposed to be the second option for the team. Already a poor shooter outside the paint, Simmons had a historically bad free throw shooting performance in the 2020-21 playoffs. The situation affected him so much that he was afraid to shoot the ball late in the game and be sent to the line. That played a factor in the 76ers losing in the playoffs, and it made him nearly unplayable in late-game situations.
That is not what you want to see out of a star, especially on a team with championship aspirations like the Brooklyn Nets. We have not seen Kevin Durant, Irving, and Simmons play together yet. While it is definitely possible that the three could theoretically work well together on the court, we might not even get to that point.
Ben Simmons and Kyrie Irving were the centers of most of the NBA drama last season. That isn’t all just going to vanish away now that it is a new season. The Nets will continue to deal with drama. If the Durant-Irving-Simmons experiment becomes a complete disaster, things could spiral out of control. Will that be too much for Kevin Durant to handle, ultimately leading to him demanding a trade again? Only time will tell.