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The relatively complex sign-and-trade deal that sent Kevin Durant to the Brooklyn Nets and D’Angelo Russell to the Golden State Warriors was reportedly complicated by none other than Durant himself.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported on Thursday that the former Warriors star “balked” at a sign-and-trade that would have involved just him and Russell.
“He didn’t think it was a fair deal, and in this case, the Warriors had to not just satisfy the Nets, but also Durant,” Windhorst reported, citing multiple sources.
Because the two-time Finals MVP did not approve of the simple swap, Windhorst reported the Warriors were “begrudgingly” forced to give up a first round pick with “one of the most unusual pick protections the NBA has seen recently.”
If the Warriors’ first-round pick falls outside the top 20 in next year’s NBA Draft, the Nets get the pick. If it doesn’t, the Warriors send Brooklyn a second-round pick in six years.
In addition, Golden State was reportedly forced to take on the contracts of Shabazz Napier and Treveon Graham — who were waived by the team not long afterward — to allow the Nets to clear cap space for DeAndre Jordan, a close friend of Durant’s and Kyrie Irving’s.
If true, it’s just one more chapter in the very strange saga that was Durant’s free agency.
On Tuesday, Nets general manager Sean Marks told reporters that while team officials were confident they would land Durant, the former MVP did not actually inform the team of his decision before posting the news at 3 p.m. PT on his sports business “The Boardroom” Instagram account.
“Well yeah, the Instagram post that he put out, we were all sitting in the office, and we all got that in real time with you guys,” Marks said. “We weren’t even sure if we were getting a meeting that night or if it was going to be a telephone conversation with him. That was the first.”
The sign-and-trade agreement was finalized and officially announced by the teams involved earlier this week.
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