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Windhorst: Kevin Durant ultimatum hasn’t worked, has hurt his trade value

Early returns on Kevin Durant’s ultimatum to Joe Tsai are not good, said Brian Windhorst Tuesday.

“Doing it now is a maneuver, a maneuver that I don’t think worked because as I talk to teams out there, they don’t think this increased his trade demand. They think this hurt his trade value,” said the ESPN writer on NBA Today.

It’s generally believed that KD’s ultimatum — trade me or fire Sean Marks and Joe Tsai — was aimed at accelerating trade talks which by all accounts are at a standstill. The Nets simply are not willing to significantly lower their desired return for arguably the league’s best player: reportedly an all-Star level player, as many as seven first rounders and swaps, and another rotation player.

Windhorst said that Tsai, in his tweet endorsing the front office and coaching staff, also suggested that the Nets will not drop their price.

“I want to point to the second half of the Joe Tsai tweet. I think it’s obviously important to look at the first sentence which is that he’s not going to fire Sean Marks and Steve Nash. But the second sentence is really the sentence that the league paid attention to it. And it seems benign when he says ‘We make decisions for the best interest of the Brooklyn Nets.’

“But I’m going to decode that for you. What he’s basically saying is despite what Kevin Durant is trying do here, we’re not going to change what our expectations are for a trade and if you are not traded, we expect you to be reporting to camp to continue the four years you have left on your contract.”

However, not everyone is so certain that Durant will join the Nets in camp. Kristian Winfield reported. “A source,” according to Winfield, “pushed back on the idea that Durant will show up to training camp in September if his request goes unfulfilled.”

In any event, as Tim Bontemps and Bobby Marks said Wednesday, things will likely be awkward...

Meanwhile, there is report by Adam Begley of SNY that Durant has added the Celtics to his list of preferred teams. Begley also notes that Durant wants to play with Marcus Smart, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, but the Nets want Smart.

Begley also reported Durant sees Philadelphia as “another desired landing spot, per people familiar with the matter.” KD and James Harden have been traveling together in Europe, attending a Travis Scott concert Saturday night in London and being spotted Tuesday in Barcelona, Spain. On Thursday, there was even video of Durant and Harden working out together...

Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe, quoting a “source”, provided details of the Nets-Celtics talks. adding that there’s no current “traction” between the two teams, further confirming Windhorst’s point.

According to the source, Brooklyn initially tried to pry both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown from Boston. That proposal went nowhere, of course. The source confirmed recent reports that Brooklyn later shifted its focus to a deal centered on Brown, Marcus Smart, and a massive haul of future first-round draft picks. But the Celtics were not interested.

Meanwhile on the Irving front, Kristian Winfield reported that the Lakers may be willing to offer more for the guard.

The Los Angeles Lakers are now reportedly willing to include both 2027 and 2029 first-round draft picks in a deal for Kyrie Irving. Earlier in the offseason, the Nets were unwilling to take back Russell Westbrook in any Irving deal. It is unclear if their stance remains unchanged or could change depending on what is received in a potential Durant deal.

The Nets training camp opens in seven weeks.