Kevin Durant wants out from the Brooklyn Nets. Over the weekend he met with Nets owner Joe Tsai and made it clear he wants off the ship and doesn't believe in the direction of the franchise. Which is pretty hilarious, because the Nets are essentially Durant's creation. In essence, he doesn't want to play for the franchise he's been the architect of.
Since signing with the Nets on July 7, 2019 Durant has been the centerpiece of the franchise. He and Kyrie Irving orchestrated deals to land themselves in Brooklyn for a superstar team-up. Durant sat out that first year recovering from a torn Achilles tendon, and when he returned helped push for a blockbuster deal to bring James Harden to the Nets from Houston. Durant and Irving had their third superstar. And it was an utter disaster.
The Durant-Irving-Harden trio was a mess from the start and eventually led to Harden being dealt to the Philadelphia 76ers for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry and draft picks. Still, Durant isn't happy. The Nets have made it clear they don't want to give Irving a big extension given how unreliable he is. While we don't know if that's why Durant wants out, it would make sense if it made up part of the reason.
The Nets have actually improve their roster this offseason. They signed T.J. Warren, re-upped Patty Mills and Nic Claxton and traded for Royce O'Neale. Plus Simmons and Joe Harris should both be back healthy when the season kicks off. Irving is slated to be back as well, though he'll be in the final year of the four-year, $136.5 million deal he inked in 2019. But Durant doesn't believe in the team and wants out.
The 33-year-old former MVP told Tsai that the owner had to choose between himself and the combination of general manager Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash. Which is funny, because in April, Durant lauded Nash for the job he's done the past two seasons.
So this has officially gone from "I don't think it's a good fit" to "this is getting ugly." And the Nets are in a terrible position. They build their roster to fit around Durant and now he wants out. And they'll never get equal value in return for one of the NBA's all-time great players.
Durant essentially built the Nets and now he wants to tear them down. The next few months should be wild in Brooklyn.