The 2022 offseason has been pretty incredible so far based on the rumors that have floated around. The biggest signing of the offseason so far has been Jalen Brunson who New York signed as a free agent from Dallas. Brunson is a non-All-Star player, so why is he the best player to have switched teams as a free agent?
The entire market has been on pause since Kevin Durant revealed he wanted to be traded from Brooklyn hours before free agency started. In the time since the window opened, the Nets have seen what the value of players around the league is.
The Atlanta Hawks traded 3 unprotected first-round picks for one-time All-Star Dejounte Murray while Minnesota traded 3 unprotected first-round picks along with one protected one and a player they drafted with their 2022 pick to Utah for Rudy Gobert. If Gobert and Murray can generate such returns, KD should receive an all-time package, something Brooklyn is willing to wait for until even training camp starts in September.
This time, unlike the Thunder situation, the Nets hold most, if not all, the cards. With four years left on his contract, and Kyrie Irving having opted in to the last year of his deal, the Nets have leverage and every intention of using it. And league personnel say the Nets have implied if they don’t get what they want, this could well drag on into training camp. (h/t New York Post - Brian Lewis)
Kevin Durant has held up the entire market as teams are not doing anything except figure out what it takes to get Kevin Durant on their team. The biggest names left on the market are Deandre Ayton and Collin Sexton, both members of the 2018 Draft who are looking for their rookie extensions.
Minnesota and Atlanta overpaying to ensure that Gobert and Murray end up on their teams have set a challenging precedent to match around the league. The value of players is decided by teams outbidding each other with the packages they offer, so something similar may happen for KD.
Not everybody is thrilled about paying a high return for a volatile 34-year-old, so the feasible trades are slim. Either way, Brooklyn will move KD when they feel they are ready to and for a package that is worth their time.