The Boston Celtics and most if not all of the other teams in the NBA likely have some interest in trading for disgruntled Brooklyn Nets star forward Kevin Durant, but may be rethinking their level of interest while watching the mess unfold at Barclays Center regarding the scorched earth tactics KD's camp has been using to try and force a trade.
But there's growing speculation around the league that Durant might be angling to make for a cheap exit if he can make the Nets feel enough pressure by demanding things owner Joe Tsai won't sign off on, like canning his head coach and GM to placate Durant.
In his latest newsletter, Substack's Marc Stein relates that "there is a growing expectation in league circles" KD will continue his toxic behavior in order to try and force a trade if nothing has happened by the team's Media Day in late September.
Specifically, the Texas product is seen as hoping to "prod the Nets into lowering their asking price at last to facilitate a deal."
And while that has seemed unlikely up to the present given Tsai's evident desire to reclaim control over his franchise, the potential threat of losing an asset like Durant outright should he retire from the sport could alter that calculus.
"During summer league in Las Vegas, one of the most well-connected team executives I speak to regularly insisted to me that, based on what he was hearing, Kevin Durant was more apt to retire than play again for the Brooklyn Net," writes Stein.
He - as did we - thought that was unlikely even if possible at that time. Now? "Attaching the R-word to Durant still comes across as serious hyperbole, but it is certainly getting easier to envision him refusing to report to training camp," suggests the Substack writer.
Could such a scenario make a trade that doesn't include Boston star Jaylen Brown possible? Perhaps - but the issues of character, commitment, and competing teams all complicate such an unlikely scenario, pushing it back into the realm of exceptionally improbable.
Still, it's a development that will keep teams paying plenty of attention to the situation in Brooklyn very closely until some kind of resolution is found.
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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire