Kevin Durant will remain a Brooklyn Net and will no longer be available for trade, according to the team’s general manager, Sean Marks.
“[Head coach] Steve Nash and I, together with Joe Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai, met with Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman in Los Angeles yesterday,” Marks said in a statement released on Tuesday.
“We have agreed to move forward with our partnership. We are focusing on basketball, with one collective goal in mind: build a lasting franchise to bring a championship to Brooklyn.”
The Nets are owned by the Tsais, and Kleiman is Durant’s business partner.
On June 30, the 12-time All-Star requested a trade, kicking off a summer of uncertainty for the Nets. A trade would have altered the league’s outlook, as the 33-year-old is a former NBA MVP and widely regarded as one of the best players in the world.
Durant’s decision to remain with the Nets represents a dramatic shift.
Earlier this month, ESPN and the Athletic reported that Durant asked Nets owner Joe Tsai to choose between him and Marks and Nash during a meeting. The parties appear to be committed to cooperating now.
Durant is under contract with the Nets for four more years, which makes trading him difficult because other teams would have had to give up significant draught or player capital to acquire him.
Brooklyn is one of the favourites to win the NBA championship this season, and Durant’s decision should help their chances.
After seven-time All-Star Kyrie Irving was unable to play in home games for much of the season due to his vaccination status, the Nets were eliminated in the first round of the 2021-22 playoffs.
This season, Irving will be able to play at the Barclays Center thanks to a change in New York’s regulations in March.
Another All-Star, Ben Simmons, will join the Nets after being acquired in a February trade from the Philadelphia 76ers.
Due to a back injury, the Australian did not play for the Nets last season, but he is expected to return for the upcoming season.
During his career, the 26-year-old has twice been named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team and was named Rookie of the Year in 2018. Joe Harris, a reliable three-point shooter, will also return from injury for the Nets.