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Kevin Durant Requested Trade From Nets Because Of Team's Poor Season And Franchise's Bad Relationship With Kyrie Irving, Says NBA Insider

Kyrie Irving Promised In March That He Wouldn't Leave Kevin Durant And The Nets: "I Love It Here. There's No Way I Can Leave."

Kevin Durant has recently requested a trade, and that sent the NBA world into a frenzy. There is no doubt that any team that lands him will likely be a contender, and we'll see where he ends up.

A recent report by Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated revealed that the two "primary factors" for Kevin Durant requesting a trade were the team's first-round sweep, as well as the "franchise's soured relationship" with his friend and co-star Kyrie Irving.

This much is clear: Durant is fed up, as underscored by the trade demand he issued on Thursday. From there, it all gets much more confusing.

Those who know Durant cite two primary factors: a rocky Nets season that ended in a first-round playoff sweep; and the franchise’s soured relationship with Irving, his close friend.

Durant doesn’t see much hope for a revival under the circumstances, those sources say. And he’s unhappy that his friend is unhappy.

This is where any rational observer must note: The Nets’ implosion was primarily triggered by Irving—specifically, his refusal to take the COVID vaccine, which made him ineligible for home games. It strained team chemistry, strained their rotation and irritated Harden, who forced a trade to Philadelphia in February.

So back to Durant, and his purported reasons for wanting out. On the one hand, he is said to be disillusioned by the Nets’ disastrous season. On the other hand, he is said to be upset with the team’s stance toward Irving … who was the primary cause of the Nets’ disastrous season.

As one insider sympathetic to Durant noted, “Kyrie sabotaged everything,” but Durant is reacting more to the effects than the cause, and he now views the Nets as unsalvageable. “There’s no use in (him) taking sides when it’s all too far gone,” the person said. In essence, the Nets were right in principle, but wrong in practical terms, failing to understand that making Irving upset “was going to drive Kevin away.” It’s instructive to note that for all the chaos, all the havoc and all the stress, Durant still wants to play with Irving, according to league insiders.

Kevin Durant is still on a long-term contract with the team, so the Nets can take their time moving him. Durant's preferred destinations include the Miami Heat and the Phoenix Suns, though the Toronto Raptors were noted as a potential option with reports claiming the Raptors believe they can put together the best possible package for Kevin Durant.

Hopefully, we see Kevin Durant land on a franchise that is committed to winning. There is no doubt that at this stage, his goal is to win championships, and we'll see where he ends up.