After a disappointing tenure that resulted in only one playoff series win, a few hours before free agency began, Kevin Durant requested to be traded from the Brooklyn Nets, reports the Bleacher Report. The Phoenix Suns and the Miami Heat are said to be on Durant’s wish list of possible destinations.
Durant’s bombshell decision comes after his close friend and teammate Kyrie Irving announced he would opt in to the final year of his contract with the Nets, worth $37 million, after a contentious round of negotiations. Shams Charania noted that Irving was “bypassing on multiple opt-in and trade scenarios to fulfill his four-year commitment to the Nets and Kevin Durant.”
Adrian Wojoranski of ESPN reported that Durant and Irving were not in contact with the team after the opt-in, and there was a “sense of inevitability” that Durant would request a trade. Reportedly, the star forward asked for the trade directly from team governor Joe Tsai.
Last summer, Durant signed a four-year, $194 million extension with the Nets that would have kept him in a Brooklyn uniform through the 2025-26 season.
Without question, the trade will be one of the biggest blockbusters in NBA history as the league has never experienced a player of Durant’s stature demand to be moved in the prime of his career.
In his 15-year career, Durant has cemented himself as one of the greatest players of all time. He was selected as an All-Star 12 times, four scoring titles, one MVP, two NBA titles, and two Finals MVP awards with the Golden State Warriors.
Durant averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and a career-high 6.4 assists per game in the 2021-22 season.