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Did the Ruby Gobert trade make it nearly impossible for Kevin Durant to get traded this offseason?

Nobody will say it, but if it weren't for the Gobert trade, Durant would probably be on a different team right now.
France centre Rudy Gobert dunks the ball against United States forward Kevin Durant

Rudy Gobert and Kevin Durant

The Kevin Durant trade saga came to a relatively anti-climatic end on Tuesday morning. After all the rumors and buildup to a potential trade, Durant ended up coming to an agreement that resulted in him staying put with the Brooklyn Nets. All the folks interested in seeing where Durant’s next destination would be were left disappointed at this development.

The Rudy Gobert trade may have prevented any deal for Kevin Durant from being made

With the Durant trade now officially not happening (for the time being), that leaves the Rudy Gobert trade as the biggest trade made this offseason. The Minnesota Timberwolves picked up Gobert from the Utah Jazz in exchange for a massive haul of future draft picks and NBA talent. Many consider it a fairly lopsided deal in favor of the Jazz, and everyone wondered why on earth the Timberwolves would give up so much for Gobert.

While that question is certainly plausible, the Timberwolves’ trade for Gobert may have inadvertently prevented Durant from getting traded in the grand scheme of things. The haul the Jazz got from the T-Wolves was so big that the Nets couldn’t reasonably accept anything less than what Gobert fetched. Otherwise, according to several NBA executives, they would have looked like complete fools around the rest of the league. Here’s what Michael Scotto at HoopsHype had to say on the subject:

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Numerous NBA executives who spoke with HoopsHype believe the Gobert trade made it harder for Durant to be moved. The draft pick compensation Utah received from Minnesota was considered such a lopsided haul for Utah around the league that if the Nets got anything less than that for Durant, Brooklyn’s front office would’ve looked foolish, according to numerous rival executives.” explained Michael Scotto from HoopsHype

The Rudy Gobert trade definitely had an impact on the Kevin Durant trade saga

Nothing is written in stone here, but it’s hard not to believe that the Gobert trade didn’t have a massive impact on the trade negotiations surrounding Durant. The Jazz’s haul from the trade was huge, and it set an already high bar for Durant even higher. The Nets’ reasoning was obviously, “if Utah can get that for Gobert, we can get this for Durant.” It turns out that wasn’t the case.

Brooklyn priced all of their suitors out of the market for Durant’s services, which is why he will be moving forward with the Nets next season. Typically this would be a bad thing, but the end reward for the Nets is that they keep Durant on their team moving forward.

And it’s fair to believe that the Nets should be thanking the Timberwolves for throwing such a ludicrous package Utah’s way that it resulted in everyone else getting priced out of the Durant market. Nobody will come out and say it, but if it weren’t for the Gobert trade earlier in the offseason, there’s a decent chance Durant would be on another team by now.

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