Kevin Durant ends Nets trade demand and agrees to ‘move forward’

Kevin Durant will remain a Brooklyn Net and will no longer be available for trade, according to the team’s general manager, Sean Marks.

“[Head coach] Steve Nash and I, together with Joe Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai, met with Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman in Los Angeles yesterday,” Marks said in a statement released on Tuesday. “We have agreed to move forward with our partnership. We are focusing on basketball, with one collective goal in mind: build a lasting franchise to bring a championship to Brooklyn.”

The Tsais own the Nets, while Kleiman is Durant’s business partner.

The 12-time All-Star made a trade request on 30 June, kicking off a summer of uncertainty for the Nets. A potential trade would have changed the outlook of the league – the 33-year-old is a former NBA MVP and widely regarded as one of the best players in the world.

Durant’s decision to stay with the Nets represents a dramatic turnaround. Earlier this month, ESPN and the Athletic reported that during a meeting with Joe Tsai, Durant asked the Nets owner to choose between him and Marks and Nash. Now the parties are seemingly committed to working together.

Durant is under contract with the Nets for four more years, one of the factors that made trading him so difficult, as other teams would have had to give up huge amounts of draft or player capital to acquire him.

Brooklyn are among the favorites to win the NBA championship in the coming season, and Durant’s decision should boost their chances of a title. The Nets lost in the first round of the 2021-22 playoffs after seven-time All-Star Kyrie Irving was unable to play in home games for much of the season due to his vaccination status. That will not be a problem this season after a change in New York’s regulations in March allowed Irving to play at the Barclays Center.

The Nets will also have another All-Star, Ben Simmons, on the roster after he arrived in a February trade from the Philadelphia 76ers. The Australian did not play last season for the Nets due to a back injury, but he is due to return for the upcoming campaign. The 26-year-old has made the NBA All-Defensive first team twice during his career, and was also the Rookie of the Year in 2018. The Nets will also welcome back Joe Harris, a reliable three-point shooter, from injury.