The Nets announced that the organization would continue forward in its partnership with Durant, heavily implying the future Hall of Famer, coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks will stay in Brooklyn — previous ultimatum be damned. This was a two-pronged problem.
1. If the Nets were truly looking to eclipse the draft package the Jazz got for Rudy Gobert in addition to landing high-end players, you can see why no deal would be amenable to Brooklyn.
2. For inquiring teams, it would have been difficult to meet the Nets’ demands for Durant while retaining enough talent to be a true title contender with him.
As I wrote in my mock negotiation with Nets beat writer Alex Schiffer, I don’t think the Raptors were ever going to trade Scottie Barnes for Durant. I’m not sure if that was because they were philosophically opposed to it as a one-for-one proposition or because Barnes’ seven-figure salary would all but certainly require the Raptors to move both OG Anunoby and Gary Trent Jr. with Barnes (not to mention more picks, most likely), thus invoking the second part of the above dilemma. Alas, it doesn’t really matter because no online casino would take this bet.
As for the Pascal Siakam-based proposal Schiffer and I eventually agreed on, it might have violated both parts of the dilemma. In free agency, a negotiation that leaves both parties a little unhappy probably means it is fair. In such massive trade talks, ones that will alter multiple franchises for a half-decade or more, there is more on the line, so the parties have to be damned sure about things. Hence, this is where we stand as of late August 2022.
Durant is great, and the Nets are a peripheral title contender just because of how well he fits in almost any setting. However, this violates everything I believe in regarding team building. The Nets probably have the widest range of potential outcomes in the league this year. If I had to bet, I’d still say Durant is not a Net in a year’s time.