Brooklyn Networks Owner Joe Tsai and Kevin Durant are reportedly meeting this week to discuss the superstar’s standing with the franchise.
Durant requested a trade on June 30, the start of NBA free agency. This came shortly after Kyrie Irving exercised his player option for the 2022-23 NBA season. Can Durant and Tsai agree and get the 33-year-old to withdraw his trade request?
Shannon Sharpe said on Undisputed that he believes Tsai is meeting with Durant because the Nets haven’t received the trade offers they want and now see him as their best option.
“It seems Joe Tsai is trying to make peace,” Sharpe said. “I think what has happened is that the trade market has kind of gone cold. Deandre Ayton’s re-signing, move to Phoenix, which basically means Kevin Durant, who goes to Phoenix, is basically out. Jaylen Brown’s Proposal, There Was No Counteroffer There wasn’t that bidding war that the Nets were expecting, given what Rudy Gobert wanted.
“…So I think Joe Tsai wants to sit down with KD: ‘KD, brother, we want you, and how do we make it right? How do we make it better? What do we need to do as an organization? Make sure Kevin Durant is happy and we can get you what you need to win a championship?'”
Brooklyn has had an eventful season.
It started with not allowing Irving to play at all amid New York City mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for home games. Irving eventually appeared in a total of 33 contests between the regular season and the postseason after the Nets eventually welcomed him back for street games and the city’s mandates were revoked.
Brooklyn traded James Harden at the NBA trade deadline – just a year after acquiring him from the Houston Rockets – for a package with Ben Simmons, who didn’t play a game last season due to injury and cited mental health issues. The Nets were swept seventh by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
This offseason, the Nets acquired wing Royce O’Neale from the Utah Jazz for a first-round draft pick in 2023, re-signed big man Nic Claxton and guard Patty Mills to two years, and signed forward TJ Warren to a one-year contract .
Skip Bayless believes Durant and Tsai will end up on the same page when they meet.
“I think he’s going to be told and sold that Kyrie is still around and you have to fix fences with Kyrie because next year will be different once Ben Simmons is healthy and that’s healthy both mentally and physically and happier,” Bayless said.
Durant averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.4 assists last season while shooting 51.8%/38.3%/91.0%. He missed his debut season with the Nets (2019/20) due to a torn Achilles tendon, played 35 of a possible 72 games the following year and 55 games the previous year.
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