We are well over a week into NBA free agency now, and Kevin Durant has yet to find a new home. Since making his trade request earlier this summer, signings and trades have slowed to a stop as the entire league waits for the Nets to make their next move.
At this point, however, the Nets are sending some hints that Durant might end up sticking around this season, which makes sense considering they have the most leverage in this situation.
But according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, that messaging by Brooklyn might just be a negotiating tactic.
"The Nets are going to work with him on it. I think as we talk now about the concept he could come back to the Nets, we need to remember that. So if you walk into our boss's office today and said 'I'm sorry but I'm gonna have to resign' he would try to talk you out of it. He does not want you to go. He has you under contract, he's expecting you to host 'Get Up' this fall for the NFL season. You would not expect him to say 'okay I appreciate that, you and I are on the same page, I will help you get outta here.' So that's what the Nets said. The Nets heard the trade demand and said 'alright let's work together to get you out of here.' That is something you have to remember, which is why I believe that them now sort of sending out the vibe that they could bring him back is, for now, (it's the second week of July you can't hold me or the Nets to this) is a negotiating position. I think that's where they're at."
A player like Kevin Durant doesn't come around very often. If the Nets wanted to, they could simply refuse to trade him and make the guy show up and play out the remainder of his 4-year deal.
But even the Nets themselves are unsure if they even want Durant anymore. After all the team has endured over the past three years, it might be best for everyone if they split and never looked back.