Entering this season, the Brooklyn Nets believed they had survived all of the trade drama from the offseason.
Over the summer, both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were exploring their options away from Brooklyn, but the Nets were able to hold onto both despite trade requests.
Through the first half of this season, things were going pretty well for the Nets. They were competing for a top spot in the Eastern Conference despite absences from both Kyrie and KD during the season.
Then Kyrie made a last-minute trade request before the NBA’s deadline and headed to Dallas. Durant followed shortly after and secured a move to the Phoenix Suns.
The way things have fallen apart for the Nets over the last year after they were able to acquire Kyrie, KD, and James Harden has made these trade requests a popular topic of conversation.
Today, Kevin Durant discussed his opinion on trade requests in the NBA.
Suns’ Kevin Durant says trade requests are “great for the league” despite criticism: “Teams have been trading players and making acquisitions for a long time. Now a player can dictate where he wants to go, leave in free agency or demand a trade, it’s just part of the game now.” pic.twitter.com/zyzphfrp2f
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) February 18, 2023
Teams have been trading players and making acquisitions for a long time. Now a player can dictate where he wants to go, leave in free agency or demand a trade, it’s just part of the game now.
Professional athletes absolutely deserve to be able to have some control of their careers when the organizations they are with aren’t working to compete or when they don’t live up to any promises made to convince them to sign.
However, what has happened with the Nets has been kind of ridiculous. When James Harden faced his way out of Brooklyn, he made the 76ers his 3rd team in a little over a year despite never hitting the free agent market.
Kyrie bailed on a team that had put up with regular absences from him since he signed with them.
By the time Durant made his request, the Nets no longer had a lineup that was ready to contend as he had expected when he signed with them.
It’s a tough balance to find, but the NBA definitely needs to figure out a way to give players some control without these kinds of trade requests becoming a regular occurrence.