NBA bombshell: Kevin Durant asks the Brooklyn Nets to trade him

   NBA

    Kevin Durant might look for other opportunities to win championships.

 According to a person with first-hand knowledge of the situation, Durant has requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. This move will likely cause teams to rush to put up sizable offers for the All-Star player.

The person who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because neither the player nor Brooklyn disclosed any specifics publicly said that the Nets have been working with Durant to find a trade partner and that he has numerous teams on his preference list.

The first to report on Durant's trade request was ESPN, which identified Phoenix and Miami as two of his top picks. The shocking news was released just hours before the NBA's summer free-agent session started.

Without counting the season he missed while rehabbing from a damaged Achilles tendon, Durant has played in 14 seasons. In his career, he has scored 27.2 points on average; LeBron James has averaged 27.3 points a game during that time.

And even at his advanced age—Durant will turn 34 on September 29—around the time that training camps get underway this fall, he is still among the finest players in the league. His 6'10" frame makes it nearly impossible for any defender to stop his jumper.

In addition to being a 12-time All-Star, Durant has won two NBA championship rings and three Olympic gold medals. Before joining Brooklyn, he was a member of Golden State, which has won four scoring championships. He has four years and roughly $200 million left on his contract, so getting him may need a significant haul of players, draft picks, or even both.

Durant played for Brooklyn for three seasons, missing the first season while his Achilles was healing. After guiding the US to Olympic gold at the Tokyo Games last summer, he scored 29.9 points on average in 55 games last season.

The Nets will suffer a significant loss if he leaves, barring a change of heart. Last year, the Nets were counting on a core featuring Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving to help them challenge for the championship.

That strategy was utterly unrealistic. Due to his unwillingness to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, Irving was unable to participate in home games for most of the season. Harden was ultimately traded for Ben Simmons, who didn't play at all last season and was sent to Philadelphia. Brooklyn entered the playoffs under Durant's leadership, but Boston, the eventual winner of the Eastern Conference, swept Brooklyn in the opening round.

Additionally, the Nets' offseason hasn't exactly been peaceful. Before he chose to exercise his $37 million option earlier this week to stay with Brooklyn for the upcoming season, Irving's status was highly uncertain.

Now that Durant wants to leave, the Nets will need to convince him otherwise or make changes that will completely alter their roster.

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