This is a new idea for Sean Marks, General Manager of Brooklyn Networksas he navigates Kevin Durant’s request that the star be traded to some very specific team: Hell with Player Power.
Say it better than that, of course. Use magic and professionalism to connect with Durant’s business manager, Rich Kleiman, so they can all work together to find a friendly deal. Sing kumbaya together. Imagine the world as puppy dogs and rainbows if it must. It leaked, as it did, that Marks and Nets plan to work with Durant as they try to find the right payoff for Brooklyn.
Say what you must. The real task, though, is to fend off the temptation to even remote interest that Durant is eager to next play for this or that team, the heat or the suns Or any group of rival teams that attracts his wayward attention. Durant I was Part of the Nets power structure and partner in trying to sail choppy waters for Kyrie Irving, James Harden and Ben Simmons and a disappointing year.
Now he’s an asset, a great all-time player by four years – four years! Leave under contract. He is, in fact, perhaps the most valuable player ever in the trading market in those years, the one who is said to have gone around Marks, straight to Nets owner Joe Tsai, to demand an exit. Presumably without contacting the Nets front desk all week.
Want to play hard ball?
No problem Kevin. Here are some of the hard stuff for you:
The Heat, one of the team members on his “wish list”, can’t trade Bam Adebayo for the Nets as long as Ben Simmons is on Brooklyn’s list because no team can carry players with the designated rookie extension. Nor should “BAM” equate to any agreement. This is difficult, and moving Simmons at the moment will be even more difficult, for example, Lakers Moving from Westbrook. Plus, Bam/Tyler Herro/Duncan Robinson/Picks isn’t enough, even if it could.
The Suns’ potential offers – another “wishlist” team – also add an equally unattractive return to the player in Durant’s stature after many years remaining under contract. First, DeAndre Ayton’s branding and trading would solidify the nets. Second, even Ayton, Cam Johnson, Mikal Bridges and potentially worthless draft derivatives give the Durant-Booker-Age-CP3 team probably not coughing up lottery picks, even years from now.
seriously. Why on earth would you want, basically, last year’s Phoenix Suns, but with Simmons replacing Devin Booker and Chris Paul.
No thank you. You are.
There are many things going on here at once, and they all point, for the Networks, to the need to fend off a player-empowerment movement turned into a All-Power Stars movement.
First, Durant, who has a history of injury and will turn 34 in September, has those four years left on his deal. There isn’t an iota of chance that KD blew up his MCL, got seriously injured, or simply slipped in terms of production, he could have woken up one morning in Brooklyn and agreed to give some of that cash back. It is a contract. It’s a bargain. He obtained a guarantee from him in case of misfortune or sudden old age. The networks should stick to what they got – Durant for another four years, or an appropriate return that matches Kevin Durant’s value during those other four years.
Two, the Nets, under Marx, replaced a swarm of young talent as they gathered Irving, Durant and Harden, and then, when they succumbed to Harden’s demands, Ben Simmons. This list includes: Garrett Culver, Carice Laffert, Spencer Dinwiddy, DiAngelo Russell and Demarie Carroll. This young team was once in the playoffs and looked interesting enough to be one star away from the real competition. They also boasted a strong rooftop culture.
So here’s Sean Marks, having staked everything on Durant and Irving, now facing his star – as many do these days – demanding a break. And the specific definitions.
Which brings us to the third fact: GM is expected to act on their team’s interests, but they also, of course, act on their own. Marks, deep down, cannot covet the trade of picks and the young players he might not be able to see if he doesn’t survive the wreckage of the post Kerry and Durant.
KD played hardball, not caring a single ounce for the future of the Nets or Marx’s career. Fine. Everyone is adults here. But why on earth would Marx do anything outside of his own interests and the interests of his team?
Marks has been, for years, host to a team that has gone from limited in options, to promising and young, to presumed rival, to, in Durant’s mood changing, potential garbage fire.
So there’s one word that Marks has to offer up to this last request for Durant’s wish list: No.
In anticipation that Durant might go down that path, talks were held this week with NBA sources about the idea of refusing to comply with the star’s request to quit. They were met with a range of responses. incredulity. A reminder that stars can simply be closed off, and in Simmons, the Nets have an example in the first row. The devastating effect of a star who plays but doesn’t try.
All valid points.
But Durant’s wishes do not matter to the net. A meeting with his hard ball with their own. Want to sit down? Fine. Sit in the next four years. Want to play somewhere else? we will see. Go find us the deal we want, not one of the prime candidates (again) that fits your purely subjective needs. Want a ring elsewhere? Yes, we have seen this story from you before. Just understand that we are chasing our very own ring, and will not move you without the pieces required to make it possible.
Speaking to grizzly On whether they’ll be partnering with some of their younger co-stars who aren’t invited Ja Morant and a slew of select picks. Find out if, for example, Atlanta Hawks Trae Young will trade and first-round pick for Durant. Contact Houston about all of these options. Point out—and yes, sure, that might drive her—that irony aside it turns out that two of the most compelling packages can actually come from Oklahoma City Thunder and the Golden State Warriors. knowledge of whether Boston Celtics You want to swap the KD for Jason Tatum or Jaylen Brown (and in Brown’s case, then some).
Explore every crazy idea. Because trading a KD for less than the Nets need is crazier, more destructive, and likely to end badly, just as they did when they succumbed to Harden’s own request.
Durant has already gone to bed with his general manager. It’s time for Marx to remember that it’s not personal. It is strictly work.
And the Brooklyn Nets are in the Brooklyn Nets business, not Kevin Durant’s next daydream team.
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