Since the start of July, the NBA has been closely following Kevin Durant and his situation in Brooklyn. The NBA megastar requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. At first, it seemed like this trade was in response to the failure of the team to offer a long term extension to Kevin Durant’s superstar teammate, Kyrie Irving. However, Durant has not taken back his trade request, even after Irving agreed to return to the Nets next season.
All summer, we weren’t quite sure what reason Kevin Durant had for deciding he wanted to be traded from the Nets. Now, we know. Durant recently revealed that he has lost faith in the direction of the franchise. Basically, he wants the Nets to choose between him and the members of their front office.
This demand is a bit more complex than a this or that decision. Here is what we know, and what it implies for the future of the Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets Have Already Had This Conversation
Think about it. If Kevin Durant wanted the GM and the coach fired, he would go to the owner first before requesting a trade. That is probably exactly what he did. If the owner was interested in keeping Durant, he would have already fired the coach and the GM. However, that is not what happened. Instead, Nets owner Joe Tsai backed Sean Marks and Steve Nash.
Two sides are at odds here with the same reason, but a different perspective. Both sides are unhappy with the way things have gone and they are losing faith in the future of the team as currently constructed. However, Durant’s solution is to find a new coach and a new GM that can surround him with more loyal and available players. The Nets do not agree which brings us to the real source of the conflict.
The Nets Want to Re-Establish Identity
The Nets are not happy with how the last few seasons have played out. They have felt embarrassed by all the drama that took place.
At one point, it was believed that the Nets would rather lose KD and Kyrie than be a team that is involved in more drama. Understandably, the Nets want to be proud of their team. The owner and front office believe they would be more proud of a scrappy eighth seed team than one in which the superstars believe they are in control.
Before Kevin Durant and Irving joined the team, the Nets were a team that struggled to make the playoffs. However, they consistently put in effort every night to perform. Led by D’angelo Russell and later Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert, the Nets were surprising the league by pulling off huge upsets. It might not have been the team that draws starpower and attention, but it was a competitive team.
For the past few seasons, the Nets have been the favorites, but instead they have been the ones on the losing end of an upset. Nets owner Joe Tsai seems to feel that it is time for a change of focus for the Nets. That being said, he is not going to let KD leave without receiving sufficient trade value in return.