The drama of the NBA offseason has seemingly been at an all-time high. The most notable storyline has certainly been the trade request of Kevin Durant as he desires out of the franchise. After some reports shortly following the request of offers around the league, the talks had seemingly gone quiet. Durant recently met with Nets’ owner Joe Tsai to reinforce his desire to be traded but this time give an ultimatum for what it would take for him to stay.
Sources: Kevin Durant informed Joe Tsai that he does not have faith in the Nets‘ direction. The meeting was described as transparent and professional, with a clear message: Keep me — or the GM and coach. https://t.co/W1voNf9MDC https://t.co/0lbBay2OxF
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 8, 2022
Brooklyn is now put in a very difficult situation. It is clear that the attempt at building a superteam has already backfired as evidenced by James Harden’s departure just last season. With their backs against the wall, here is why it would be best for the Nets to fire Steve Nash and Sean Marks in order to attempt to convince their superstar to stay.
2 reasons Brooklyn must fire Steve Nash, Sean Marks to appease Kevin Durant
Lack of Draft Picks:
One of the important contextual details of this storyline is the lack of draft picks that the Brooklyn Nets possess. In the original trade to land James Harden from Houston they were forced to empty these assets. The Nets sent Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince to Cleveland as well as Caris LeVert, three first-round picks (2022, 2024, 2026), and four first-round pick swaps (2021, 2023, 2025, 2027) to Houston in exchange for the superstar. Not only does it hurt that Harden forced his way out, but it is even more detrimental that they no longer have these draft picks to bank on.
Under different circumstances, it would make a ton of sense to trade Kevin Durant for a haul of draft picks and begin to rebuild. However, it makes no sense for the Nets not to continue attempting to compete as it is nearly impossible to land a top draft pick. Kevin Durant would certainly improve the team that he is traded to the point where they are not in the lottery- thus devaluing the picks Brooklyn would receive. The Nets also would certainly get worse, but this does not help them as their draft pick will simply go to the Rockets.
These factors make it extremely difficult to find a trade that improves the Nets’ chances of competing for a championship. Their lack of draft picks essentially takes away the option to rebuild and firing Steve Nash and Sean Marks in an attempt to mend things with Kevin Durant is in the organization’s best interest.
Kevin Durant is THAT Good
The NBA is a star-driven league. In general, the team that lands the best player in the trade typically wins it. Unfortunately for the Nets, there are very few players who are better basketball players than Kevin Durant. This along with the fact that other teams around the NBA are aware of how Durant is not happy in Brooklyn makes it nearly impossible to improve via trade.
While giving the players too much power is the main reason the Nets have gotten into this mess, they have no choice but to see it through. Durant is clearly unhappy and has been vocal about his desire to leave, but he also is a guy who is likely to continue to show up to work and play to the best of his abilities. Acting in favor of what he wants could go a long way to improving the relationship Even amid all the drama that ensued last season, Durant found himself in the MVP conversation prior to being injured. He is still playing at an extremely high level and is one of the best players to ever play the sport. You can be critical of plenty of Durant’s off-court decisions or interactions, but his ability to play basketball is impossible to question.
Given that they can’t rebuild and that there are very few players that would be an upgrade over Durant, the best route for the Nets is attempting to fix this relationship. This is a messy situation with no clean way to handle it. However, the focus must remain on what gives the organization the best chance to win a championship. Both Sean Marks and Steve Nash have their individual strengths and weaknesses but neither should be looked at as irreplaceable. Kevin Durant is better at his job as a basketball player than either of those two are in their respective positions. It is unfortunate that they are catching a great deal of the shrapnel from this explosion but it seems Brooklyn’s only route to go. It is clear that Kevin Durant has not changed his mind about his frustration, but he has given the organization an opportunity to fix it and they should not hesitate to take it.