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UPDATE: Nets’ moves an indication team plans on ‘bringing back’ their superstars

Boston Celtics v Brooklyn Nets - Game Four Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Think standoff. Long-term standoff.

Both Shams Charania and Adrian Wojnarowski painted a picture of the Nets as a team who believes they have plenty of leverage — and time — as they try to get value for Kevin Durant, with Woj once again pointing to the Raptors as a final destination for KD. The two differed on the status of a potential trade of Kyrie Irving to the Lakers, presumably for Russell Westbrook. Shams thinks nothing of note is going on while Woj says the two team did as “check-in” on a possible deal. The ultimate question, Woj said, could be draft compensation headed to Brooklyn.

In an interview on the Pat McAfee Show Tuesday, Shams Charania says that there’s no traction on trades for either Durant or Irving and unless the Nets demands are met, the team plans on bringing the two back next season ... and play them. Indeed, he said the Nets signings of former Pacers T.J. Warren and Edmond Sumner are indications Brooklyn is preceding as they normally would...

Woj agreed, saying, “I think it just tells you the Nets want to put as good of a team on the floor next year. This isn’t a team that’s looking at a Kevin Durant trade or a Kyrie Irving trade that they’re going to head toward a rebuild. They’re going to get back good players and for Kevin Durant potentially a very, very good player and picks.

“So you’re going to need T.J. Warren and of course Edmond Sumner, who they also signed, another guard who played for the Pacers. Simply, these are good rotational players.”

Shams also made it clear that there has been no change in KD’s trade demand.

“From everything I’m told, that stance has not changed,” said Shams. “There’s no signal that he’s going to back off that. If anything, that stance is expected to continue throughout this off-season in terms of wanting a trade out of Brooklyn.

“But on the other hand, the Nets pick up T.J. Warren today. They’re making moves and doing things this off-season that in their mind is in preparation and operation as if they’re bringing these two guys back next season and playing with these two guys.

“Now, I think they’re open in dialogue and they’re open to teams like Toronto and Phoenix and Miami making offers, but until they get that price threshold met — which I am told is All-Star players, a boatload of draft picks, they’re not going to move. This is what they are telling teams. They’re not going to move Kevin Durant until the price is met. So we’ll see how this summer goes.”

The interview bolstered reports by Woj and Brian Lewis in the last several days. Like Shams, both believe nothing is imminent and that the Nets hold considerable leverage in that both KD and Irving are under contract next season and Durant is under contract till June 30, 2026 without player options or a no-trade clause.

Shams also noted that superstar trades often “take months,” citing trades between Celtics and Cavaliers for Irving; between the Lakers and Pelicans for Anthony Davis; between the Raptors and Spurs for Kawhi Leonard and even the most recent deal, between the Timberwolves and Jazz for Rudy Gobert. And as McAfee added, the deal that brought James Harden to the Nets.

Meanwhile, Woj spoke on ESPN about how the Nets will use the Jazz take for Gobert as the framework for any Durant trade. The Jazz received four first round picks and the rights to a pick in the 2022 Draft in that deal.

“I think the Nets are trying to create an outline for the rest of the league about the kind of package they would want back in a Kevin Durant trade,” said Woj.

“I think the Rudy Gobert trade to Minnesota started to frame that,” he added. “The market is still taking shape. I think it’s incumbent on some of the other teams to be creative and start bringing to Brooklyn ideas, going out to see if they can players, picks that would put the kind of package together to get Kevin Durant.

“Brooklyn has time on its side. There’s a lot of time left in the offseason. They don’t have to rush into a deal.”

As he has in recent days, Woj also suggested Toronto may be the team to watch, noting that they have the assets the Nets would like to get for Durant and could make the “cleanest trade,” that is a straight two-team deal.

“The Toronto Raptors are the one team that could go to Brooklyn alone with the pieces the Nets want and they (Toronto) have interest,” said Woj. “If Toronto gets more aggressive in the pursuit of Kevin Durant there is certainly a pathway.”

Meanwhile on prospects for moving Irving, The Athletic writer also reported there is “no traction” between the Nets and Lakers on a trade for Kyrie Irving even suggesting that a deal might not happen at all.

“There’s no traction on any type of a Lakers deal for Kyrie Irving and I’m not sure we’re gonna see that take place,” said Shams following a weekend were a variety of reports had Irving (and possibly Joe Harris or Seth Curry) going to the Lakers for Russell Westbrook and draft compensation.

However, Woj seemed to disagree, suggesting talks have progressed and that the Summer League in Las Vegas could be a venue for more detailed talks with Sean Marks and Lakers GM Rob Pelinka likely to be in Las Vegas for the Summer League which begins Thursday.

“I do think the two teams did a ‘check-in,’” Woj told Malika Andrews. “Ultimately, one of the big questions that would have to be answered in a Kyrie Irving Lakers deal — and if Russell Westbrook is involved and he almost certainly has to be just because of the contracts — how many draft picks or draft pick would the Lakers be willing to give up. They’ve got their 2027 pick, they got their 2029 pick.

“I think its’ probably the Nets insistence that they get significant draft compensation, especially with them taking on the extra money, the additional money and the value of Kyrie Irving,” he added.

“Both sides know the other may not have anywhere to go in the interim and so I don’t know that there’s a rush for the two of them to sit down and really get moving but I would imagine Rob Pelinka and Sean Marks will be at Summer League and that’s a conversation they could decide to pick up again.”

Shams also spoke how Irving was well aware of the possibility that Durant might ask for a trade as he mulled his future in Brooklyn. But he opted in anyway, he said, intending to play out the season.