Monday's NBA: Durant reiterates desire to be traded by Brooklyn

Tim Reynolds
Associated Press

Kevin Durant has again told Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai that he wants to be traded, reiterating a request he first made nearly six weeks ago, a person with knowledge of the matter confirmed Monday night.

Durant also told Tsai that he has concerns about the Nets’ direction under coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks, said the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither the perennial All-Star nor the team confirmed details of the talks publicly.

Kevin Durant has again told Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai that he wants to be traded, reiterating a request he first made nearly six weeks ago.

The Athletic first reported details of the latest Durant-Tsai meeting.

“Our front office and coaching staff have my support,” Tsai tweeted Monday night. “We will make decisions in the best interest of the Brooklyn Nets.”

This is the latest phase of a saga that began June 30, when Durant told the Nets he wanted a trade just as this summer’s free agent period was beginning. Durant isn’t a free agent; he has four years and $198 million remaining on his contract with the Nets, who will undoubtedly demand a haul of players and draft picks in any trade agreement for the 12-time All-Star, four-time scoring champion, three-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time NBA champion.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has never been a fan of trade demands going public.

“This needs to be a two-way street,” Silver said last month. “Teams provide enormous security and guarantees to players and the expectation is, in return, they will meet their end of the bargain. I’m realistic that there’s always conversations that are going to go on behind closed doors between players and their representatives and the teams. But we don’t like to see players requesting trades, and we don’t like to see it playing out the way it is.”

Durant has spent three seasons with Brooklyn, not playing in the first of those years while he recovered from a torn Achilles. He averaged 29.9 points in 55 games last season, after leading the U.S. to Olympic gold at the Tokyo Games last summer.

Bazemore returns to Kings

Kent Bazemore provided depth, leadership and a strong locker room presence when he came to Sacramento in January 2020. The Kings will be looking for more of the same from the veteran swingman this season.

Bazemore, 33, has agreed to return to Sacramento on a one-year deal, a league source told The Sacramento Bee on Sunday, confirming a report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

Bazemore appeared in 25 games for the Kings in 2019-20, averaging 10.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists while shooting 41.8% from the field and 38.4% from 3-point range. He is a career 35.6% 3-point shooter.

Bazemore is a 10-year NBA veteran who went undrafted out of Old Dominion in 2012. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound guard/forward was primarily used as a shooting guard early in his career, but he has logged most of his minutes at small forward over the past several seasons, according to Basketball Reference.

Minutes could be hard to come by in a backcourt featuring De’Aaron Fox, Davion Mitchell, Kevin Huerter, Malik Monk and Terence Davis, but Bazemore could give the Kings much-needed depth behind Harrison Barnes at the small forward spot.

In addition to the Kings, Bazemore has played for the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Atlanta Hawks and Portland Trail Blazers. Bazemore’s first stint with Sacramento came during the 2019-20 season when the Kings acquired him, Anthony Tolliver and two future second-round draft picks in a deal that sent Trevor Ariza, Wenyen Gabriel and Caleb Swanigan to the Blazers.