Kevin Durant is unlikely to be dealt before Thursday's NBA trade deadline, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday. One of the biggest questions after the Brooklyn Nets traded Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks was whether additional deals — including a potential blockbuster move with Durant — would be made.
While the Nets could still be active on the trade market, it appears Durant will remain in Brooklyn and the Nets will attempt to build around him. According to Wojnarowski, Durant "has been engaged in conversations with owner Joe Tsai and general manager Sean Marks on the direction of the franchise and its ability to be a championship contender."
Durant requested a trade from the franchise in the offseason. He reportedly had interest in joining the Phoenix Suns at that time. No deals materialized before training camp, and Durant rescinded his request.
Before Tuesday's game against the Suns, Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said he has not been involved in the front office's reported conversations with Durant.
"I was not a part of them. If these conversations did happen, I was not there. So I can't say if they happened or not, but I know I wasn't there. But what I will say is, Kevin wants to win," Vaughn said, per the New York Post's Brian Lewis.
The Suns' new majority owner, Mat Ishbia, was confirmed by the NBA Board of Governors on Monday night. Ishbia bought a majority stake in the team from Robert Sarver, who was suspended for one year and fined $1 million for toxic workplace allegations. Sarver announced his intention to sell the team shortly after the penalties. Ishbia could have a major impact in the Suns' trade negotiations ahead of the deadline.
Durant is in the first year of a four-year, $194 million extension he signed when Irving and James Harden were still on the Nets. Durant is currently sidelined with an MCL sprain in his right knee. He is likely to return after the All-Star break, ESPN reported Tuesday. The Nets' first game after the break is Feb. 24 at the Chicago Bulls.
With eight days until the All-Star break starts for the Nets, Kevin Durant (MCL sprain) isn’t expected to return to team’s lineup until post-break, sources tell ESPN. Jacque Vaughn told reporters that there’s still no timetable for a return. https://t.co/mmkvOGahne
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 7, 2023
Asked Jacque Vaughn if it's safe to rule Kevin Durant out through the All Star break, said "I won't step over that line...but the days are adding up."
— Alex Schiffer (@Alex__Schiffer) February 7, 2023
Durant was selected as a starter for the Eastern Conference, his 13th All-Star nod, for the event in Salt Lake City on Feb. 19. It is unclear whether or not he will participate. If he is unable to play, NBA commissioner Adam Silver will name an injury replacement.