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On June 30th, 2019, the Nets hauled in the two biggest free agents in the franchise’s history, as superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving each agreed to terms with Brooklyn to call the Barclays Center their home court for the next four seasons.
On June 30th, 2022, Kevin Durant announced that he’s requesting a trade from the same Brooklyn Nets team he signed with 3 years ago. It is widely reported that Durant himself made the trade request directly to Nets owner Joe Tsai on Thursday morning. With the early stages of this shocking announcement, it clearly has the entire NBA shook as this move sets up Kyrie Irving possibly leaving as well.
Brooklyn will likely be apart of the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes next season for number #1 overall pick, after potentially losing the two superstars they convinced they could win with just three years ago.
The Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat are among two of the teams that Kevin Durant has on his wish list according to multiple sources, but the Nets plan to move Durant where they can get the best possible deal. As of now, The Phoenix Suns (+600) now have the top odds to win the NBA finals next season while the Brooklyn Nets odds fell from this morning (+900) to (+1600), according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Durant, who won’t become an unrestricted free agent until 2026, is scheduled to make $44.1 million during the 2022-23 season. As Durant has four years on his contract, there’s no shortage of teams willing to unload assets for him. Durant averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists this season, only seeing action in 55 games during the regular season as he recovered from an MCL injury.
KD and Kyrie Irving had no contact with the Nets after Irving opted into his deal on Monday, and a sense of inevitability existed that Durant would eventually ask for a trade. The Brooklyn Nets were swept by the Celtics in the first round in this year’s NBA Playoffs and the Kyrie-KD Brooklyn era did not live up to the lofty expectations set from 3 seasons ago.
In other news, the Nets have just acquired Royce O’Neale from the Utah Jazz in exchange for a 2023 first-round pick, The pick going to Utah will be the lesser of their own, Houston’s or Philadelphia’s. O’Neale 29, averaged 7.4 points and 4.8 rebounds in his fifth season with the Jazz.
Reminder: NBA Free Agency starts at 6pm today, EST. So, stay tuned to more big moves throughout the day, like the development of Kyrie Irving’s relationship with the Nets and if he becomes the latest star to request a trade.