Brooklyn Nets Must Play Hardball With Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns, Kevin Durant’s Desired Destinations!

Here’s a unique suggestion for Sean Marks, the general manager of the Brooklyn Nets, as he negotiates Kevin Durant’s request to be traded to certain teams: Hell with player strength.

Of course, you should be more polite than that. Rich Kleiman’s business manager should be persuaded that they can reach an acceptable agreement via the use of charm and courtesy.

The Superstar Requested a Trade Immediately Before the Start of Nba Free Agency

Sing kumbaya together. If you must, pretend the world is filled with puppy dogs and rainbows. Leak, as has already occurred, that Marks and the Nets aim to collaborate with Durant while searching for the optimal value for Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Nets Must Play Hardball With Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns, Kevin Durant's Desired Destinations!

Say what must be said. The true challenge, however, is to resist the desire to care that Durant wants to play for this or that team, the Heat or the Suns or whichever set of contending teams catches his eye.

Durant was a member of the Nets’ power structure and helped navigate the turbulent waters of Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Ben Simmons, and a poor season.

Now, he is an asset, a legendary player with four-four! – years remaining on his contract. Given those years, he is reputedly the most valuable player ever on the trade market, bypassing Marks and going directly to Nets owner Joe Tsai to seek a transfer. Supposedly without contact with Nets front office personnel for the entire week.

Does he desire to play rough ball? No problem, Kevin. Here’s some hardball for you:

The Heat, one of his “wish list” teams, cannot transfer Bam Adebayo to the Nets while Ben Simmons remains on Brooklyn’s roster, as no team can carry two players with the designated rookie extension.

And no Bam has to equal no deal. Moving Simmons right now would be more difficult than, say, the Los Angeles Lakers trading Russell Westbrook. Additionally, Bam/Tyler Herro/Duncan Robinson/picks are insufficient, even if they were conceivable.

The prospective proposals made by the Suns, the other franchise on Durant’s “wish list,” are likewise undesirable for a player of Durant’s caliber with so many years remaining on his deal. First, a sign-and-trade for DeAndre Ayton would limit the Nets’ cap space.

Second, even Ayton, Cam Johnson, Mikal Bridges, and draft picks that may have the minimal value given that a Durant-Booker-aged-CP3 team probably won’t give up lottery picks, even in the future, are unlikely to be traded for lottery picks.

Seriously. Why on earth would you want essentially the same Phoenix Suns as last season, except with Ben Simmons in place of Devin Booker and Chris Paul? No. Thanks a lot.

Several things are occurring concurrently, and they all indicate that the Nets must push back against a player-empower movement that has evolved into a star-players-have-all-the-power movement.

First, Durant, who has a history of injuries and will turn 34 in September, has four years remaining on his contract.

There is not the tiniest possibility that KD would have woken up in Brooklyn and agreed to return a portion of that money had he torn his MCL, been gravely injured, or even experienced a decline in production. This is a contract. This is a deal.

It provided him with security in the event of misfortune or sudden old age. The Nets should hold on to what they have: Durant for four more years, or a return commensurate with Kevin Durant’s value over those four years.

Two, under Marks, the Nets traded away an abundance of young talent in order to acquire Irving, Durant, and Harden, and later Ben Simmons when they gave in to Harden’s demands. Jarrett Culver, Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAngelo Russell, and DeMarre Carroll are included on this list.

This youthful team once qualified for the playoffs and appeared to be one star away from being truly competitive. In addition, they had a strong culture with a ceiling.

After wagering everything on Durant and Irving, Sean Marks is now confronted with his celebrity wanting an exit and specific parameters, as so many do these days.

The third fact is that general managers are expected to act in their team’s best interests, but they also act in their own. Marks cannot desire a trade of draft picks and young players that he may not be able to complete if he is unable to withstand the post-Kyrie and Durant devastation.

KD played with no regard for the destiny of the Nets or Marks’ career. Fine. Here, everyone is an adult. But why in the world would Marks act against his and his team’s best interests?

Marks has been the general manager of a squad that has gone from very limited in its possibilities to promising and young to a reputed contender to a potential dumpster fire due to Durant’s change of heart.

Brooklyn Nets Must Play Hardball With Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns, Kevin Durant's Desired Destinations!

Marks must provide a single word in response to this newest request from Durant: No. This week, I discussed with NBA league insiders the idea of refusing to cave to a star’s demand for an exit, anticipating that Kevin Durant may pursue this course of action.

They received a variety of reactions. Incredulity. Reminders that stars may just shut it down, and the Nets’ Simmons is a prime example. The catastrophic effect of a star who plays but does not attempt to succeed. All valid points.

However, the Nets are not concerned with Durant’s desires. Match his aggression with their own. Do you wish to take a seat? Fine. Inactive for the following four years. Do you desire to play elsewhere? We’ll see. Go find us a bargain we want, not a frontrunner that meets your selfish demands.

Do you desire a ring somewhere else? Yes, we’ve heard you tell this story before. Please understand that we are pursuing our own ring, and we will not relocate you without the necessary components.

Discuss with the Grizzlies the possibility of acquiring some of their young stars, except Ja Morant, in exchange for an abundance of draft picks. Determine if, for example, the Atlanta Hawks would be willing to trade Trae Young and a first-round selection for Durant. Contact Houston regarding these picks.

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