Brooklyn Nets governor Joe Tsai voices support for front office, coaches in wake of Kevin Durant’s trade demands

Brooklyn Nets Gov. Joe Tsai expressed his support for the front office and coaching staff Monday night after Kevin Durant asked Tsai to choose between him and the team’s general manager and coach.

Tsai and Durant recently met in London, confirmed ESPN sources, in which Durant reiterated his desire to be traded and suggested the franchise required a choice between him and coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks.

Durant originally requested a June 30 trade and has not withdrawn that request. At 33, Durant has four years and $198 million left on his contract, meaning Brooklyn can be patient as he awaits the kind of return he thinks will eventually ensue for a star player, that reaches the trade market in its heyday.

The meeting between Durant and Tsai was first reported by The Athletic, which also noted that it took place on the one-year anniversary of Durant signing his renewal.

Durant joined the Nets alongside Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan in the summer of 2019 after Marks and then-coach Kenny Atkinson helped lead the franchise out of the doldrums and into a surprise postseason berth.

Since then, nothing has gone as the Nets planned.

Durant sat out the 2019 season while recovering from a torn Achilles tendon, Jordan was traded, Nash was brought in to replace Atkinson, James Harden has come and gone and Ben Simmons is yet to make his Nets debut. Irving has opted into the final year of his contract with the team this offseason but has not received an extension. He played in 29 games last season after opting not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Irving had made a list of teams he wished the Nets would work on a sign-and-trade deal if they couldn’t agree on terms of his staying in Brooklyn, but the Los Angeles Lakers were the only team known to be interested, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Irving is now ineligible for a sign-and-trade deal. The Nets could still work to trade him in as an expiring contract, but Irving would have no formal vote in a potential landing spot.

He has until June 30 next year to work out an extension with the Nets before becoming an unrestricted free agent. Brooklyn Nets governor Joe Tsai voices support for front office, coaches in wake of Kevin Durant’s trade demands

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