The Nets are in waiting, watching and listening mode, but not apparently in talking mode. That’s become increasingly evident and Brian Windhorst, in his latest appearance on ESPN’s Get Up, spoke about how trade talks for Kevin Durant have “slowed to a trickle.” Moreover, he said the Nets are operating in a bit of a vacuum on why KD wants out!
“From what I understand, trade talks involving Kevin Durant have slowed to a trickle,” said Windhorst on Get Up. “You can still get some Nets folks on the phone to make an offer but they are not aggressive in making outgoing calls. The league is about to go on their first significant vacation in two years and people are scattering to Europe and the national parks and Kevin Durant is still a Net and that won’t change in the short term future.”
That is not much of a surprise. Sean Marks is among those league officials “scattering.” He was planning to head out on vacation after the end of Summer League last week. And while as Windhorst said there are other people in the organization who can take calls, it’s highly unlikely that anything happens on KD without Marks and Joe Tsai signing off.
Later on NBA Today, Windhorst said there’s no movement on the demand side.
“Durant’s price is so high that nobody can afford to pay it,” Windhorst said. “Right now, everybody waiting for the price to get lower. I’m not hearing anything changing as far as the demand phase of this process.”
Windhorst also talked about how the Nets may not have “100 percent” clarity on why Durant wants out. He reportedly called Tsai on June 30 and asked for a trade. As more than one person has noted, the timing seemed odd in that Kyrie Irving had agreed to opt in to his $36.5 million expiring contract the day before.
“I can’t believe what I am about to say,” Windhorst began, laughing. “The Brooklyn Nets have had a good off-season. In a vacuum, they have gotten healthier. They have added supporting pieces. There’s optimism Ben Simmons is going to be better. And I think looking at the menu of options, the Nets are kinda like, ‘Kyrie, Kevin, take a look here.’
“What I will say is nobody knows what Kevin Durant is thinking right now. His communication with teammates and others in the league has been sparse. I don’t even think that the Nets have a 100 percent understanding of why Kevin asked for a trade.
“He spoke to the owner in Joe Tsai, but I’m not sure that the Nets are 100 percent on the understanding of it. I think really that the next step in this, barring a team’s change of heart to meet the Nets price ... which I don’t see at this point in the calendar ... I think we’re going to have to hear from Kevin Durant about how open he is to running it back with the Nets. So here we go, as everyone breaks for the summer, waiting for that to happen.”
How soon might things come to a head? There’s plenty of time between now and training camp which likely starts September 27. That’s nine plus weeks.
Are the two sides in the KD side of things talking? Brian Lewis reported that there has been contact between representatives of the Nets and Durant. And at least publicly, neither side has publicly commented on the trade request.
Durant was on Twitter Wednesday morning, noting how he will be inducted in the Texas Athletics Hall of Honor.
He will be inducted on September 16. Maybe by then, we will have more clarity.
Meanwhile on the Irving front, Jake Fischer said on his podcast that it’s likely the Nets guard will be wearing anything other than black and white next season. For how long remains a question.
“I really do think Kyrie Irving at this point in time that Brooklyn is the overwhelming favorite for his place to be playing next season. I think he wants to go to Los Angeles but I’d be surprised if he doesn’t go back to Brooklyn and plays the whole year out,” said Fischer. “I’d be surprised if he doesn’t still prefer the Lakers in free agency next summer at this point, it just doesn’t seem likely that he’s going to be a Laker this season.”
Similarly, Dave McMenamin of ESPN reported on the network Wednesday that L.A. is looking beyond Irving.
“Things have not moved in terms of the Brooklyn front, said McMenamin, talking about reports that L.A. might be interested in an Irving for Russell Westbrook. “There has been some talks reengaged between the Lakers and the Pacers that would center around Buddy Hield.”
All of this, Windhorst suggested, should make Irving push his game this season.
“Kyrie Irving is probably in that zone right now,” said Windhorst. “If Kyrie wants to control his destiny and get the contract that he wants, he’s gonna have to have a big year this year.”