The Nets improbable —no, impossible— off-season reached a dramatic crescendo Sunday night with word that the Nets and Golden State had concluded a double sign-and-trade that will send Kevin Durant, one of the game’s iconic players, to Brooklyn.
Going in the other direction are D’Angelo Russell, Shabazz Napier and Treveon Graham. The Nets will also receive a protected first round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft from Golden State.
Durant’s contract is reported to be $164 million over four years, the largest in Nets history, committing the Nets to nearly $400 million in salary through 2023.
The announcement came in a series of tweets as well as a press release. It follows by a week word from various media that KD had agreed to sign. Sunday’s announcement made it official.
Here are the tweets, starting with the more dramatic —and efficient...
KD.— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) July 8, 2019
OFFICIAL: We have acquired 10x All-Star and 2x NBA champion Kevin Durant!— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) July 8, 2019
Hello, @KDTrey5 ⚫️⚪️ pic.twitter.com/WBgKGnm5Id
Welcome to our family, @KDTrey5 pic.twitter.com/qAXqbPLnCL— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) July 8, 2019
Durant also announced that he will no longer wear No. 35 but has switched to No. 7.
.@35Ventures pic.twitter.com/LKR00FOnys— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) July 7, 2019
Said Sean Marks, architect of the Nets three-year transformation from a 20-win team to an attractive landing spot for superstar players...
“Kevin is a champion, perennial All-Star and one of the great players of this, or any, generation. Adding a player of Kevin’s caliber to our organization elevates our ability to compete with the elite teams in this league. His tremendous abilities and dedication to his craft have made him as talented an offensive player our game has ever seen and we, as well as all of Brooklyn, are thrilled to welcome Kevin and his family to the Nets.
“We would also like to thank D’Angelo for all he has done for the Nets over the past two seasons. He was an integral part of the team’s growth and served as a tremendous representative of the Nets and Brooklyn. We wish him, Shabazz and Treveon nothing but the best in the years ahead.”
Kenny Atkinson, Marks partner in the rebuild, was equally effusive.
“Along with the rest of the league, our coaching staff has long admired Kevin’s incredible skill, resilience and tenacity,” said Nets Head Coach Kenny Atkinson. “He has already established himself as a champion and one of the best players of all-time, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome him into our program in Brooklyn.”
The Durant trade, constructed so that DLo could wind up with a max contract, is the second signing announced on Sunday. Earlier, the Nets announced the signing of Kyrie Irving, who like Durant is a member of this season’s All-NBA team, Durant a first team selection, Irving a second.
Durant, of course, might be out this season, having suffered an achilles rupture in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, which Golden State lost to Toronto in six games.
The 30-year-old Texas product has won two NBA rings, in 2017 and 2018. He was named the MVP in both Finals. He has also won an Olympic gold medal, with Irving and the Nets other big acquisition, DeAndre Jordan, in Rio de Janiero in 2016.
Here’s the Nets official bio, from the press release.
A nine-time All-NBA selection (six First Team, three Second Team), Durant (6’9, 240) joins the Nets after spending the previous three seasons with the Golden State Warriors. During that time, Durant won two NBA championships (2017, 2018) and was named NBA Finals MVP twice, becoming just the sixth player in NBA history to win the award in consecutive years.
As a Warrior, he helped lead Golden State to a regular season record of 182-64 (.740). Durant has been named an All-Star in each of the last 10 seasons (2010-19) and earned the league’s Most Valuable Player award in 2014 with Oklahoma City after averaging a single-season career-high 32.0 points (50.3 percent from the field, 39.1 percent from 3-point range, 87.3 percent from the free-throw line), 7.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.3 steals in 38.5 minutes per game. In 849 career games (all starts), Durant has registered averages of 27.0 points (49.3 percent from the field, 38.1 percent from 3-point range, 88.3 percent from the free-throw line), 7.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.1 blocks in 36.9 minutes per contest.
He has also appeared in 139 career playoff games (all starts) over nine postseason appearances with Oklahoma City (six) and Golden State (three), posting playoff averages of 29.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.2 blocks in 40.3 minutes per game. In addition to two titles and three NBA Finals appearances in Durant’s three seasons in Golden State, the 30-year-old forward has led his team to at least the Western Conference Finals in seven of his last nine seasons.
The Nets received wide praise for its ability to manipulate the CBA to its advantages. Bobby Marks, the former Nets assistant GM, noted in short hand how the Nets did it.
1. Kyrie w/room— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) July 8, 2019
2. DeAndre w/room
3. S/t for KD by acting like a team over the cap
That’s how $69M in room turns into $80M.
Creative work by the Nets front office. https://t.co/ukoJhtfB9w
What makes it even more head-shaking is that even with these signings and others remaining, the Nets are unlikely to be a luxury tax team.
The S&T leaves only two signings left for Brooklyn, a vets minimum deal for Wilson Chandler and a room exception contract worth $10 million over two years for Garrett Temple. In addition, Theo Pinson’s situation remains uncertain. The Nets renounced his rights Saturday to save cap space. He could be signed to a minimum deal at the end of free agency. Pinson was in uniform Sunday for the Nets Summer League game.
The pick the Nets will receive as part of the trade is, according to a league source, heavily protected and is likely to eventually roll over into second rounder.
No word yet on when the Nets will hold a press conference to welcome the two —along with the Nets other signings and acquisitions.
- The Kevin Durant-Kyrie Irving Nets era is officially here - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets embracing their new reality: ‘Now it’s championship talk’ - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Jarrett Allen knows the Nets’ new Big 3 changes everything - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Kevin Durant surprisingly changes up number with Nets - Mark Fischer - New York Post
- Bobby Portis: Players knew Durant and Irving had picked Nets for months - Marc Berman - New York Post
- Newest Net Taurean Prince talks of a championship - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Are Kawhi, KD and LeBron too powerful - Marc Stein - New York Times
- With Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, Nets now have ‘championship talk’ - Ian Begley - SNY
- Whether it happens in Year 1 or 2, Nets now thinking championship - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Kevin Durant will wear No. 7 for the Brooklyn Nets - Adrian Covert - New York Daily News
- Durant planning to switch to No. 7 with Nets - ESPN
- Durant officially joins Nets, Russell to Warriors - Tim Reynolds - AP
- Spencer Dinwiddie talks recruiting Kyrie Irving and Brooklyn owning New York - Michael Scotto - The Athletic New York
- The winners and losers of NBA free agency 2019 - SB Nation
- Joe Lacob on Kevin Durant: No player will wear No. 35 for Warriors again - Connor LeTourneau - San Francisco Chronicle