The most dramatic resolution to the trade request that has dominated this NBA offseason occurred on Tuesday.
Kevin Durant and team officials have decided to “go forward with their cooperation,” the Brooklyn Nets said.
Durant had to play his cards aggressively when it was revealed earlier this month that he had asked Nets owner Joe Tsai to choose between keeping him, general manager Sean Marks, and head coach Steve Nash.
Durant was prepared to play his best hand
Durant must be ready to hang on if his plan to improve Brooklyn doesn’t work, even if he is technically still under the team’s long-term control.
If Durant was prepared to play his best hand, the Nets would either be obliged to make up their loss by trading him, or they would be compelled to comply with Durant’s request to bring the 12-time All-Star back onto the court.
Now that we don’t know, we are left to question if Durant was prepared to stay.
If the response is “no,” then the Durant-centered drama has been a waste of time for everyone involved, including Durant, Brooklyn, possible suitors, and those whose careers have been put in jeopardy elsewhere in the league.
Durant believes that he could get what he wanted from the Nets just by asking?
Whether or whether Durant admits to caring, his inexperience in this failed power play only helps to damage his reputation.
Brooklyn is a clear title candidate if the Nets’ core players stay healthy and the group experiences few dramas.
At this point in their careers, it makes more sense to wager on a Durant-Irving-Simmons trio performing well than it does to have faith in them.
The most reliable component is Durant’s talent on the court, yet in the two seasons after recovering from his Achilles tendon injury, Durant has missed more than 40% of Brooklyn’s contests as a result of various injuries.
Durant, who will turn 34 after the current season, is no longer unstoppable, as evidenced by his lackluster performance in the opening round of the playoffs against Boston’s formidable defense and of all the stars in league history. Irving had the lowest level of trust.
Throughout his 11-year career, the seven-time All-Star played just 58 games on average per season out of 82 games, and he missed more than 30% of his team’s playoff games.
If this Nets squad wins another title on paper, don’t be shocked.