Most basketball pundits believed that Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai didn’t get the “historic offer” he expected to trade Kevin Durant. Without the “historic trophy” the Nets expected from rivals, they decided to keep their coveted superstar.
However, Skip Bayless, in his podcast, was convinced that he had figured out Tsai’s plan all along:
“Joe Tsai made a fool of Kevin Durant… I don’t believe that no one has proposed to Kevin Durant because he has become such a problem child. I don’t believe for a second that it’s Kevin squeaking Durant.
“I think that Kevin Durant, who is still the best player on the planet, has been given stunning offers.
“I believe that from the very beginning, Joe Tsai decided: “I am not going to give in. I don’t care what they offer for Kevin. I’ll listen, just to calm them down, just to pat them on the head, but he’s not going anywhere.”
Durant’s four-year contract extension was yet to go into effect when he demanded a trade from Brooklyn. After weeks of waiting, he reportedly asked Nets general manager Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash to be fired.
The ultimatum came to nothing as the billionaire stuck to his stance and publicly declared his support for the front office and coaching staff. Without any leverage, KD eventually canceled the request.
Bayless guessed what Tsai had been thinking throughout the confrontation:
“Joe Tsai said, ‘To hell with Phoenix, to hell with Miami, to hell with Boston, to hell with Memphis and to hell with everyone who was reportedly interested in Kevin Durant.’ Kevin will be a Brooklyn Net player whether you like it or not.”
Before the two sides decided to advance their partnership, the Boston Celtics were reportedly in a winning position to land the former MVP. Boston’s bid was rumored to center around former All-Star Jaylen Brown and role player Derrick White.
Joe Tsai could end the era of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in Brooklyn
The era of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in Brooklyn began with a sensation. It could end rather precariously for many reasons even before the end of next season.
If the Brooklyn Nets don’t get off to a good start to the 2022-23 season, Irving’s tenure with Brooklyn could end quickly. The Nets could trade a volatile point guard whose contract is expiring for a year to create a better support lineup around KD.
If Irving does his best all season and even helps the Nets win a championship, Joe Tsai may still not want to sign him to a new contract. Three years of “Uncle Drew” drama and insecurities could have cost him all the Nets’ goodwill towards him.
The billionaire has already scored his point of view on Kevin Durant and could do the same with Kyrie Irving. He may refuse to let his team suffer years of duo-led drama.