Kevin Durant has reportedly given the Brooklyn Nets an ultimatum: either he goes or GM Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash go.
Per NBA Insider Shams Charania, Durant met with Nets Governor Joe Tsai in London over the weekend and reiterated his desire to be traded and stated that he does not have faith in the direction of the team.
Durant’s conversation with Tsai was described as “transparent and professional,” according to Charania’s sources.
Durant, who signed a four-year, $198 million extension almost exactly one year ago, requested a trade on June 30 and the Nets are reportedly seeking a massive haul in return for the two-time NBA champion.
The Nets reportedly have “direct knowledge” of why Durant wants to be traded and understand the 33-year-old will continue to be firm in his stance, according to Charania.
It is unclear if Durant will be wiling to hold out of training camp or even go as far as missing games if he is not traded.
The Nets are coming off a first-round sweep of the Boston Celtics in a season that was mired by Kyrie Irving’s refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccine, making him a part-time player, and the decision to trade James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers for the disgruntled Ben Simmons, who did not play a game for the Nets due to a back injury.
Over the weekend, FS1 reporter Ric Bucher detailed a report that Simmons left the Nets group chat after Game 3 when it was asked if he’d be ready to play in Game 4.
Simmons did not play in Game 4, and later had back surgery in the offseason, but Simmons’ refusal to even address his teammates in the chat left Durant perplexed.
The Nets are optimistic that Simmons will play in 2022, however, and believe he is the perfect complement to both Durant and Irving, per Charania.
The Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics have been reported as the most interested suitors in Durant, although no team has reached the Nets’ high asking price. The Celtics did reportedly make a strong offer that included Jaylen Brown, though.
Charania noted that Durant has become close with Celtics head coach Ime Udoka after his season as an assistant in Brooklyn and again working with Team USA during the Tokyo Olympics.