Kevin Durant has requested a trade from the Nets — that much we know. What no one seems to know is why.
“There is a school of thought speaking to people around the league that they think the Kevin Durant trade request wasn’t actually about him getting out of Brooklyn,” McMenamin said on Zach Lowe’s podcast. “It was about getting Kyrie Irving out of Brooklyn.”
Durant and Irving joined the Nets together, and their run has been less than a smashing success. Quite the contrary, as Brooklyn has yet to even reach the Eastern Conference finals with the pair, who were once joined by James Harden and if they stay together, will soon get Ben Simmons as a teammate. (Theoretically, anyway.)
Interestingly, Durant’s trade request came just a few days after Irving announced he was picking up his contract option.
Durant has been linked to the Heat and the Suns, though it seems the Suns aren’t exactly making a strong push after bringing back Deandre Ayton (who can’t be traded until January). Hoops Wire has also learned that the Wizards could pursue a deal.
Either way, any decisions involving Durant and Irving are expected to take a while. But if Irving is dealt, perhaps Durant will be more open to a return.
“The sense is that Durant has tired of Irving’s unreliability and would welcome Irving being traded,” RealGM wrote. “To this point, Durant has only asked the Nets for a trade with few details as to why he wants to be traded. Durant is starting Year 1 of a four-year, $197.6 million extension this upcoming season.”
That said, the Durant-Irving theory may just be little more than pure speculation.
“I can grant that if – if – he wants to stay in Brooklyn without Irving, Durant would have a tough time executing that plot cleanly,” wrote Dan Feldman of NBC Sports. “Irving reportedly wants to stay with the Nets (if you buy that), and Durant has shown to care about his personal relationship with Irving. Durant trying to get Irving traded might look quite convoluted.”