Kevin Durant made a key mistake by trying to force his way out of the Brooklyn Nets earlier in the offseason, according to NBA expert Logan Murdock.
Durant handed in his trade request and allegedly gave the Nets an ultimatum to either fire Marks and coach Steve Nash or send him to another franchise. Ultimately, wounds were healed and all parties appear to be confident Durant is remaining in Brooklyn for the long term.
Nets general manager Sean Marks released a statement that the franchise and Durant are ‘moving forward’ as they attempt to bring a championship to Brooklyn for the first time. Durant’s trade request came as surprise when he dropped the bomb on the team in June.
However, NBA expert Murdock believes Durant’s trade request and general disgruntled approach to being in Brooklyn was ill-timed. Speaking on The Bill Simmons Podcast, he thought the former MVP moved too late in the offseason and ultimately too close to the beginning of the regular season.
“If you’re gonna ask for your coach and GM to get fired, you don’t want to do it in, like, August,” Murdock said. “You probably wanna do that in the spring time, where there’s other GMs on the market, other coaches on the market.
“If you wanna do a sports-first thing and stay with the organisation and make that Magic Johnson-type ultimatum, you don’t wanna do it in August when there’s literally nobody to hire who can take the job and run with it. That was the odd thing to me.”
Murdock thought Durant’s request was largely dependent on Kyrie Irving’s own misgivings with the franchise. The point guard was linked with a move to the Los Angeles Lakers, with LeBron James reportedly pulling for the franchise to move for the seven-time All-Star.
“I was looking at the timeline of when he asked for that trade, and it really seems with hindsight that Kyrie was unhappy so he wanted to get his man what he wanted,” Murdock continued. “When you’re in the matrix of this trade request you think ‘oh, Kevin’s fed up, he’s done with the whole thing, the drama, he’s the last guy to be like ‘oh I wanna get out of here’.
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“Honestly, when you look at that at face value you can make a good argument for why he’d want to get traded, everything has gone wrong. Even though he kinda brought a lot of it on himself, you can talk yourself into thinking ‘oh KD wants to be traded because it’s a s***show in Brooklyn whether he created it or not, he wants to dip.
“But if you look in hindsight it’s like okay what happens? Kyrie doesn’t get the contract he wants. They’re at an impasse, there’s not gonna be a deal for Kyrie, that’s the catalyst for the whole thing. Then KD thinks ‘if my man isn’t getting a deal, then that’s my bud’.
“This goes back to what he said back in March, he said this was a partnership between himself and Kyrie, now that isn’t happening then he’s out of there.”
Durant signed a four-year contract extension worth £167.2million to stay with the Nets last August. He will look forward to playing with Irving for another season at least after the duo joined forces to join Brooklyn in the 2019 offseason.