Kevin Durant has decided to stay in Brooklyn after all. The 14-year veteran requested a trade in June and reportedly wanted the team to fire GM Sean Marks and coach Steve Nash. However, on Tuesday, Durant made the decision to stay with the Nets.
According to a statement from the team, Durant and his business partner Rich Kleiman met with Nets’ ownership, Marks, and Nash. Ultimately, they came to a resolution.
“Steve Nash and I, together with Joe Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai, met with Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman in Los Angeles yesterday,” Marks said in the statement. “We have agreed to move forward with our partnership. We are focusing on basketball, with one collective goal in mind: build lasting franchise to bring a championship to Brooklyn.”
The 33-year-old signed a four-year, $198 contract extension last summer, and that deal begins this season.
Here’s the reality, the Nets have a championship-caliber team. Kyrie Irving, who opted into the final your of his contract after playing in only 29 regular season games due to his refusal to take any COVID vaccines, has a lot to prove this season because he wants to get a big contract in the offseason, so he should be very committed to staying on the court and proving that he’s an elite player that can be trusted.
Additionally, Ben Simmons is on track to be ready for training camp after offseason surgery. We can say many things about Simmons, but he’s a three-time All-Star, an elite defender(two-time NBA All-Defensive First Team), and has a winning skillset. There was pressure on him to score in Philly, but that will not be the case in Brooklyn as Durant, Irving, and others will handle the scoring load.
Furthermore, they have shooting with Seth Curry, Patty Mills, and Joe Harris and acquired a solid player in Royce O’Neal from Utah. Also, they added more scoring with T.J. Warren. They could still use some size, but this roster has a decent amount of depth. On paper, it may be the most talented roster in the NBA. Any place Durant would have gone, that team would have had to deplete their roster and draft assets to get him, so again, staying put makes the most sense and gives him the best chance to win another NBA title.