Stephen A. Smith feels Kevin Durant's trade demands are "unjustified" and adds the Brooklyn Nets should not trade the ex-NBA MVP. On June 30, Durant requested a trade from the Nets. 10 days ago, Durant met with Nets owner Joe Tsai.
During the meeting, Durant reiterated his desire to be traded and told Tsai to trade him or fire head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks. “Hell no [Durant’s trade demands are not justified],” Smith started his rant on ESPN’s First Take.
“And I love me some KD. I know people get on him about being sensitive and him clapping back to the media. Hell, he’s clapped back at me on several occasions publicly and privately. I love the brother. I think he’s the best player in the world when healthy.
These trade demands are not even close to being justified. Hell with that. If it’s me I’m Joe Tsai for the Brooklyn Nets, you ain’t going no damn place Kevin. There is no way in hell I’m letting Kevin Durant leave this year."
Smith breaks down Durant's three years in Brooklyn
“Let me break this down for y’all. Kevin Durant arrives to the Brooklyn Nets in 2019. He signs for 4 years $164 million. He had just torn his Achilles, they paid him $35-plus million a year just to come knowing he wasn’t gonna play a single game.
He’s Kevin Durant, he deserves it. I would have done the same thing without hesitation," Smith added. “The second season you come back through no fault of your own, Kyrie gets hurt, James Harden gets hurt, you almost beat Milwaukee, can’t get it done, monster performance.
This year you got bounced out in the first round. You got swept and you were the only team in the entire postseason who got swept. That’s three years of basketball and all I got to show for is one playoff series victory”.
The Nets were surrounded by drama throughout the entire 2021/22 season. The Nets' season finished with a playoffs first round sweep versus the Boston Celtics. Durant didn't play particularly well during the Celtics series and the Nets paid the ultimate price.
This offseason, Kyrie Irving picked up player option for the final year of his contract. On paper, the Nets still look like one of the best teams in the league with Durant, Irving and Ben Simmons on their roster.