The 2022 NBA offseason has primarily revolved around the Kevin Durant trade sweepstakes. Durant requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets at the end of June, and ever since then, everyone has been wondering where the star forward would end up. It turns out Durant will stay put in Brooklyn, ending the rampant speculation regarding Durant’s future.
Beverley is unhappy with the way Durant handled his trade request
Unsurprisingly, Durant’s decision to do a complete 180 on his trade request drew a lot of attention around the NBA. Among those vocal about Durant’s decision to suddenly stay put was Patrick Beverley. Beverley was unhappy at how Durant’s trade request basically put the entire NBA on hold and how his decision to request a trade, then go back on it, has kept a lot of players in the NBA out of jobs.
Beverley’s sentiment was expressed by other folks around the NBA, as Isaiah Thomas tweeted shortly after the Nets announcement asking if he could get signed now. Durant caught wind of Beverley’s tweet and didn’t seem too happy with it, simply replying with the hashtag “Blame KD” to Beverley, implying that he thinks he’s getting all the blame for something that wasn’t solely his fault.
The NBA did pause for a month and a half, but it wasn’t solely Durant’s fault
Beverley is correct in implying that the NBA offseason basically went on a hiatus due to Durant’s trade request. Every team around the league wanted to wait to see what would happen with Durant before making any decisions regarding their offseason work. It resulted in free agency coming to a screeching halt after the first few days, leaving many players unsigned throughout the summer.
But that isn’t solely Durant’s fault. In fact, it’s probably more the Nets’ fault than anyone else’s. The only thing Durant went public with was his trade request, but Brooklyn’s front office continually leaked information regarding the rumors surrounding Durant’s request. Whether it was new teams joining the fray, offers they had received, or meetings that had taken place with Durant, the Nets did everything in their power to give themselves leverage in this situation with Durant.
It worked for the Nets but probably harmed the rest of the NBA. It wouldn’t be surprising to see a mini spurt of free agency signings follow as teams fill out the rest of their benches now that Durant is staying put. Beverley is right that this isn’t great for some of the players left on the market, but it isn’t solely Durant’s fault, and blaming him for such would be wrong.