By now the entire NBA world has come to a halt due to the news that superstar forward Kevin Durant has asked for a trade out of Brooklyn. Durant joined the team in the summer of 2019, pairing himself with star guard Kyrie Irving. The duo was supposed to take over New York and compete for championships. However, the franchise only won one playoff series over the course of the last few seasons and now they seem to be on the verge of losing both players.
The Nets don’t seem as angry to be losing Irving, as he has been somewhat of a distraction during his tenure with the team. However, the Durant news likely shocked some within the organization as it did with those outside of it. Now teams have been scrambling to try and put together a deal that will satisfy the Nets to part with Durant. It’s not everyday that a player of Durant’s caliber is on the trade market. He has his preferred destinations if the Nets do indeed trade him, but the Nets will also be looking out for themselves here.
One part of this entire equation that isn’t being talked about enough is that the entire league is watching how the Nets handle this situation. Not only with Durant but with Irving as well. While Irving has been a problem for Brooklyn and other franchises, he is still very well respected around the league with the players. Star players all over the NBA are always tuning in to see how other franchises treat their current star players. If Brooklyn decides to only look out for themselves in this situation, they could be playing a very dangerous game.
When a franchise decides to bring superstars into the fold, it needs to understand that all eyes turn towards them. The franchise is then being run to an extent by the star players and fair or not, this is how the league works. Some franchises understand how to cater to star players demands or expectations and others don’t. This is why we often see players switching teams and using their player empowerment to the extreme to get themselves to where they want to go. Often, it’s not due to location but because they don’t believe the franchise has what it takes to handle a winning environment.
In this situation, the Nets need to be careful. Especially with a talent like Durant otherwise the team could end up casting doubt over the organization that will take a long time to repair. If Durant feels like the team didn’t treat him well, it will go arounds NBA circles. There is no doubt about that and the same goes for Irving to a lesser extent. Franchises have to be ready to inherit superstar talent and clearly, the Nets weren’t ready.
This isn’t to say that they didn’t try to win. They went out and made moves to do exactly that including trading for James Harden. However, the key to finding success with star players is knowing when to cater to their demands and when to hold your ground for the betterment of the team. In these situations where a star player wants out and has a list of teams that they’d be willing to go too, it’s likely that they end up where they want to go.
The power is in the players and rightfully so. However, with Durant having four years left on his contract, the cards seem to favor the Nets a little more. The entire NBA is watching, and the Brooklyn Nets have just been put on the spot. What they do over these next few days, weeks, or months will likely determine whether or not, stars will want to play in Brooklyn for the foreseeable future. The waiting game continues but rest assured, the Nets are on the clock.