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Shams: Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving see Caris LeVert as ‘very significant part of this team’

Toronto Raptors v Brooklyn Nets - Game Three Photo by Kim Klement - Pool/Getty Images

In speaking with Complex’s “Load Management” podcast, Shams Charania said the Nets were not willing to include Caris LeVert in a trade for Jrue Holiday last month because Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving “view Caris LeVert as a very significant part of this team.”

“Brooklyn looked into it, but they obviously didn’t want to trade a guy like Caris LeVert for Jrue Holiday. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving view Caris LeVert as a very significant part of this team.”

The Athletic writer also said he does not see any Rockets’ interest in trading James Harden to any team “in the next month,” that in fact Houston hasn’t even engaged in detailed discussions ... and that includes the Nets.

“Brooklyn, there’s not the pieces on that team to get a deal done that Houston would feel is applicable for a guy like James Harden.” Charania told Zach “Chopz” Frydenlund, Adam Caparell, and Zion Olojede. In general, he said “talks never progressed” between Rockets and any team. Houston doesn’t want to trade Harden, but if they have to, they want a “star level or high level rotation player” plus multiple first round picks and swaps.

Also Tuesday, Kevin Durant denied the original story about Harden’s interest in Brooklyn, one which reported the two had spoken while working out in Los Angeles.

“I don’t know where you making this stories up, (that) me and James talked in workouts. James is a friend of mine…I heard all the noise,” said KD. “Anybody can make up stories, and write stories and it gets traction.”

Charania added that a number of teams called Houston including the Warriors and even the Cavaliers but none of them led to an exchange of detailed information.

As far as Holiday, who ultimately went to Milwaukee for five first rounders or swaps, Charania said the Nets didn’t just object to losing LeVert but that Sean Marks wasn’t interested in giving up a raft of first rounders, as he noted in his media Zoom call after Draft Night.

“That is the dilemma, right?” Marks said when asked about trading draft picks. “If you put it like mortgage the future, I would probably say no. There comes a fine line where you say this is what we are going to do, not only in a trade for a star player but any trade for that matter.”

In speculation before the Holiday trade, various pundits said that a Nets package for the All-Defensive Team point guard would have to start with LeVert and Jarrett Allen. Milwaukee, trying to improve so they can satisfy Giannis Antetokounmpo, gave up George Hill and Eric Bledsoe in addition to the pick haul.

At the end of the podcast, Charania was asked if he believe the Nets roster would be the same at the All-Star Break in early March. He replied that he doesn’t think so “just because the Nets are always active, always looking at different things out there. Now that could be the most minor move, could be the 12th man.”

Sean Marks basically confirmed Charania’s point in his comments to media Tuesday afternoon.

“We’re going to have to be fluid with our roster,” Marks told reporters. “I look forward to getting with the coaches and with our front office and really debating as we go through training camp and see where we need to make changes — whether it’s on the periphery of the roster, or we make some bigger moves.”