Kevin Durant will stay in Brooklyn after trade request

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The saga surrounding Nets star Kevin Durant’s next destination reached a counterintuitive conclusion Tuesday, when the team announced it would keep the 12-time All-Star in Brooklyn.

General manager Sean Marks announced the news in a statement, saying Durant and the Nets have “agreed to move forward with our partnership. We are focused on basketball, with one common goal in mind: to build an enduring franchise that brings championships to Brooklyn.” Also has the Nets logo.

Durant has reportedly been pursued by the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors and most recently, the Memphis Grizzlies. Two weeks after his decision to stay with Brooklyn, Durant reiterated his request to be traded and asked Nets owner Joe Tsai to choose between him or Marks and coach Steve Nash. according to athletics.

Chai responded with a tweet showing his support for the front office and coaching staff.

Durant, a two-time champion and two-time Finals MVP, will continue his tenure in Brooklyn defined by drama.

Durant, who left Golden State to join Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn shortly after tearing his Achilles during the 2019 Finals, is trying to make the venture three years later. before the hour The NBA’s free agency period June 30 and opened two weeks later The Warriors won their first title Since he left, Durant formally requested a trade Following a grueling 2021-22 season, the A A modest sweep by the Celtics in the first-round.

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Durant’s tenure in Brooklyn loomed as a blur because it was so closely aligned International spread of the coronavirus. The four-time scoring champion spent the 2019-20 season recovering from an Achilles injury and avoided rushing to return to the bubble staged in Orlando. Injuries and a lack of coronavirus protocol limited Durant to 35 games in the shortened 2020-21 season, which ended with a second-round loss to the eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks before turning around in a thrilling postseason run.

Last season, Durant again missed time with an injury that limited him to 55 games, and then he turned in one of the most memorable postseason performances of his career against the Celtics.

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On the way, the The Nets made a blockbuster trade with the Houston Rockets For James Harden in January 2021, then changed course Philadelphia trades All-Star guard to 76ers Last February.

A key driver of Brooklyn’s instability is Irving, who has missed significant time over the past three seasons due to injuries, personal absences and eligibility issues related to refusing to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. While Durant has always been careful to publicly defend Irving, it was clear the Nets needed major changes following their disappointing performance against the Celtics. In a sign of how quickly Brooklyn has unraveled, Durant’s trade request came less than a year after signing a four-year, $198 million extension.

For starters, Durant reimagined the Nets as the face of his own franchise, expanding his business and media portfolio in a larger market and building a roster filled with his friends. Brooklyn has pledged to foster a player-friendly culture, deferring to its stars on matters such as playing time and injury management.

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That philosophical approach backfired in the 2021-22 season, as Irving’s vaccine overshadowed the Nets’ season, contributed to Harden’s departure and put a heavy burden on Durant. Many of Brooklyn’s shortcomings are rooted in organizational inexperience: Chai took full ownership of the franchise in 2019, Marks was a relatively new executive with no prior experience managing A-list superstars, and Steve Nash was a first-time coach. Hired in 2020.

Time and time again after landing Durant and Irving, it looked like the Nets bit off more than they could chew. Although Brooklyn had the NBA’s second-highest payroll last season — trailing only Golden State — it was one of 16 playoff teams that did not win a game in the postseason.

However, Durant has played at an MVP-caliber level when healthy throughout his Nets tenure, averaging 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game last season. With only one playoff series win during his time in Brooklyn, Durant’s post-Achilles season was the undisputed highlight. Key role on USA Basketball’s gold medal winning team At the Tokyo Olympics. Otherwise, he was forced to watch major contenders LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Stephen Curry win championships.

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