Steve Bulpett, the longtime Boston Celtics beat writer, quotes an NBA executive Tuesday saying Kevin Durant and Joe Tsai will meet this week, but notes the executive doesn’t know the agenda for the two men. Nor did the executive provide details on the reported meeting.
“What I’m hearing is that KD is going to meet with the owner this week,” the source told Bulpett, writing for Heavy Sports. “He’s going to go directly to the owner, Joe Tsai, sometime this week. We’ll see how that works.”
As for whether the meeting is to smooth over differences, Bulpett’s source said he isn’t certain of the agenda.
“I don’t know,” said the exec. “I have no idea what’s going to come of that meeting. There are some things that KD is unhappy about, and I’m not sure any of that gets fixed here. But maybe it does.”
It was Tsai who KD spoke with on June 30 when reportedly requesting a trade. The request came hours before Durant’s four-year, $198 million contract was set to kick in and hours after Kyrie Irving announced to Shams Charania that he was opting into the final year of his contract at $36.5 million. Brian Lewis has reported previously that there has been contact between the two sides.
The Nets, through a spokesman, declined comment on the report. Last week, Durant was in New York for the premiere of his Showtime documentary, “NYC Point Gods” and the opening of a renovated basketball court in the Bronx but declined to answer questions. Tsai, tweeting for the first time about anything related to the Nets, seemed to praise Kyrie Irving in a retweet of a video from the documentary.
Bulpett who was a Celtics beat writer for the Boston Herald also cast some doubt on the Celts reported offer to the Nets centered on a Durant-for-Jaylen Brown exchange.
There was a recent report that the Nets had weeks ago turned down an offer of Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and a first round pick from the Celtics, but others have disputed to Heavy that such a proposal was ever truly on the table.
In addition to the league executive who reported on a meeting between the Nets governor and superstar, Bulpett also quoted a second NBA “personnel executive” who expressed frustration with the now month-long, but not very productive process.
“I think there’s some teams that aren’t very happy that when they talk to Brooklyn it gets in the papers,” the executive told Bulpett. “That doesn’t help. I’ve talked with a couple of teams that are not happy with the rumors that creep out of there through all this. It’s not a good way to do business.”
The executive even suggested that the Nets may be trying to drive a wedge between Brown and the Celtics. Brown, who has previously been mentioned as a possible trade piece in other failed discussions, has expressed frustration that his name keeps popping up.
“That’s probably why they won’t get anything done and why they haven’t had any conversations for a while,” said a source. “I don’t think they are going to get anything done with Boston.”
A third executive quoted by Bulpett said his best bet is that there isn’t much change next season in Brooklyn.
“My bet is they don’t trade either one of them,” said the source. “Maybe Kyrie. I don’t see them trading Durant, because they’re not going to get back what they should. And I wouldn’t trade him either. The hell with it. He signed the deal. The hell with it, right?
“I don’t see KD being a hard line guy, either. If they can’t get a deal done, he’s just going to say, ‘[Expletive] it,’ and he’ll play — and he’ll play hard like he always does. I know KD, and he’s not going to sit out or anything like that. He’s not that kind of guy. There’s no way. He’s not going to do anything like that.”
The executive also reiterated what many in the league have said, that getting a good return on Durant is impossible.
“If Brooklyn wants to be good now, the fastest way to that is KD and Kyrie and (Ben) Simmons together playing well. With anything else, you’re pretty much scrambling this season and waiting for those draft picks to bring you something good down the line. No matter who you bring back in a trade now, he’s not going to be KD.”
Meanwhile, at Tuesday’s Liberty game, Rich Kleiman, Durant’s agent/manager, sat next to Nets assistant coach Ryan Forehan-Kelly.
Earlier, he was seen hugging Clara Wu Tsai, Tsai’s wife who’s the Nets and Liberty co-owner.
Meanwhile, Shaquille O’Neal criticized Durant on the Rich Eisen Show.
“When you put a house together, you should live in it … You, as a leader, should make it work, but you don’t want to make it work, I guess,” Shaq said. “You know he’s probably trying to get to a contender. It’s easier that way.”
- Exclusive: Kevin Durant to Meet With Nets Owner About Trade Demand - Steve Bulpett - Heavy.com
- Kevin Durant to sit down with Nets owner Joe Tsai over trade request - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Kevin Durant Will Meet With Nets Owner This Week, per Report - Madison Williams - Sports Illustrated
- Report: Kevin Durant to meet with Nets owner Joe Tsai amid trade stalemate - Jack Baer - Yahoo! Sports