The Kevin Durant trade saga is over, at least for now. The Brooklyn Nets have announced on Tuesday that Durant is staying with the team after the two sides agreed to “move forward with their partnership.”
“[Head Coach] Steve Nash and I, together with [owners] Joe Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai, met with Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman in Los Angeles yesterday,” said general manager Sean Marks in a statement. “We have agreed to move forward with our partnership. We are focusing on basketball, with one collective goal in mind: build a lasting franchise to bring a championship to Brooklyn.”
Durant, who has four years left on his contract, asked the Nets to trade him earlier this offseason. The team initially complied with the request but found that there was no deal out there that would make sense.
The closest they were to making a trade was when the Boston Celtics got involved, but the two sides couldn’t come to terms about compensation. The Celtics reportedly were willing to include All-Star Jaylen Brown and multiple picks in the deal, but the talks came to a halt when the Nets also asked for the reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart and more draft assets.
Earlier this month, Durant showed a willingness to remain in Brooklyn but issued an ultimatum to Tsai to choose between him or Nash and Marks. Tsai didn’t budge and quickly reiterated his support to the coach and the GM, which ultimately took away Durant’s leverage.
Durant finished the 2021-22 season with averages of 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.4 assists per game. The Nets failed to get out of the first round of the playoffs, falling to the Celtics, who went on to reach the NBA finals.