Former NBA coach and current ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy doesn’t think it’s necessarily over between the Nets and Kevin Durant.
This despite the fact Durant gave Nets owner Joe Tsai and ultimatum — either to trade him, or fire coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks. Tsai, of course, said his coach and GM aren’t going anywhere.
There is a sense Durant made such demands because he wants the Nets to lower their asking price and make a deal, per Marc Stein of The Stein Line.
But despite all this, Van Gundy said he thinks Durant and the Nets could come to terms, and do so without firing Nash and Marks.
“I think it would be an awkward couple of days and then you win three in a row because I think if (Ben) Simmons comes back, (Joe) Harris comes back, (Kyrie) Irving is in a right space and is able to play and Durant comes back, they’ve got a really good team,” Van Gundy said on SiriusXM NBA Radio, via Adam Zagoria of NJ.com. “And so winning helps camouflage any bad feelings and so I don’t think it will be as bad for as long as people might suspect on the outside.”
Van Gundy’s comments make sense — with all those players and Durant, the Nets have a shot at very good things. In fact, it likely would be a better situation than just about anywhere else Durant goes.
That’s because in order to acquire Durant, a rival team would have to surrender lots of meaningful assets. And who is to say that Durant would have more success alongside Jayson Tatum with the Celtics or Jimmy Butler with the Heat — than he does next to Irving and Simmons with the Nets?
Who’s to say he would like his new coach or GM any better? Who’s to say it wouldn’t just be more of the same, but in a different uniform?
This is something the Nets need to figure out, Durant really needs to figure out, and the rest of the NBA needs to figure out, too. All that an more makes trading Durant all the more difficult.