Franchise star Kevin Durant filed for a transaction with the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Durant made the trade request Thursday directly to Nets owner Joe Tsai, sources told ESPN.
Sean Marks, general manager of Nets, is working with Durant and his business manager Rich Kleiman to find a transaction, Kleiman told ESPN.
As the Nets prepare to move one of the most valuable trading assets ever to the market, the entire roster will be available to discuss in deals, sources told ESPN. Teams are calling on Durant and the Nets will certainly be looking for historic returns on players and draft picks.
The Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat are among two of the teams Kevin Durant has on his wish list, sources told ESPN, but the Nets are planning to move Durant to a place where they can get the best deal possible. Since Durant is on a four-year contract, there is no shortage of teams willing to unload assets for him.
Durant, 33, who will not become an unrestricted free agent until 2026, will earn $44.1 million in the 2022-23 season.
He and Kyrie Irving had no contact with the Nets after Irving opted for his deal on Monday, and there was a sense of inevitability that Durant would eventually ask for a trade, sources told ESPN.
The Nets, who had been chosen by many to win the NBA championship before the season, finished with a record of 44-38, good for seventh in the Eastern Conference — and a playoff spot bolstered by a play-off. in-game win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on April 12.
They were swept by the Celtics in the first round.
In the past three seasons, the Nets have played 247 games (including playoffs and play-in games). Durant and Irving were on the field together in just 58 of those games (23%).
Durant has averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists this season, but saw action in just 55 regular season games as he recovered from an MCL injury.
If traded, it would be the highest scoring average of any player starting the next season on a new team since Moses Malone was traded from Houston to Philadelphia after the 1981-82 season, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Sportsbooks adjusted its chances of winning next season’s NBA championship after news of Durant’s trade request, with the Suns becoming the title favorites.
Phoenix’s title chances improved from 9-1 to 11-2 at Caesars Sportsbook. The champions Golden State Warriors follow at 6-1, followed by the Boston Celtics at 13-1. Miami’s chances improved from 16-1 to 8-1, while the Nets’ title chances extended from 15-2 to 30-1 on Thursday afternoon.
In other news, the Nets have acquired Royce O’Neale from the Utah Jazz in exchange for a first round in 2023, sources told ESPN. The choice that goes to Utah will be the lesser, Houston or Philadelphia, sources told ESPN.
O’Neale 29, averaging 7.4 points and 4.8 rebounds in his fifth season with the Jazz.