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Stephen A.: NBA Owners Applauding Joe Tsai’s Handling of Kevin Durant Trade Request

Kevin Durant (Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

NBA team owners are reportedlycommending Brooklyn Nets governor Joe Tsai for not giving directly into KevinDurant’s trade request.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith provideddetails Wednesday on First Take in what he’s heard behind thescenes because the Nets announced Tuesday they reached an agreement with Durantto keep him on the roster (1: 10 mark of video):

“I’ve never seen owners thisgung-ho. After all, they’re sick and tired of it. What hashappened in Brooklyn alone will do to possess set NBA players backdecades. That is the kinda damage that nonsense that has been going onhas done.

“So to let them escape with it thistime, it might not happen. It might not happen, because if it did, itwould have changed the span of empowerment forever. Empowermentpeople don’t possess an issue with. Entitlement is what they will have anissue with.

“That has been the confusion, and that’swhy Joe Tsai took this position. Because every owner that I understand,unsolicited, has said kudos to him. Plus they mean it.”

Player empowerment in the NBA has madesignificant strides in the last few decades as those seeking a big change of scenery could request a trade and obtain movedelsewhere.

The Durant situation was differentbecause he’s only starting a four-year, $194.2 million contractthat runs through the 2025-26 season.

If he could force his way to avoid it ofBrooklyn with without any leverage, it could have gone future teamsin an identical situation in a hardcore spot.

Furthermore, the Nets were strugglingto find offers that represented fair-market value for a former MVPand 12-time All-Star.

The Minnesota Timberwolves quit amonster package that included five players and five draft picks,including four first-rounders and a pick swap, to obtain Rudy Gobertfrom the Utah Jazz earlier in the offseason.

A KD proposal could have needed toexceed that price, and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reportedearlier Wednesday that never happened regardless of the 33-year-oldfour-time scoring champion spending nearly 8 weeks on the tradeblock.

Durant’s camp tried to generate leveragealong just how, including a written report from Shams Charania of The Athleticsuggesting he’d stay if the business fired general manager SeanMarks and head coach Steve Nash, but Tsai held firm every step of theway:

Joe Tsai @joetsai1999

Our front office and coaching staff have my support. We shall make decisions in the very best interest of the Brooklyn Nets.

Now the Nets will try to leave thepast 12 months of drama in the rear-view mirror and try to emergeas a high contender in the Eastern Conference.

The talent will there be, with Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons headlining another roster cornerstones, but whetherachieving team cohesion can be done remains a mystery with the2022-23 campaign significantly less than 8 weeks away.

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