Kevin Durant wanting out of Brooklyn (where he’s currently under contract for the next 4 years) has been the main talking point all offseason. Durant, who requested a trade moments before free-agency season tip-off, has received a ton of backlash for giving up on the Nets — the team he felt he could lead to a championship in the summer of 2019.
Durant’s 3-year tenure with the Nets has been nothing but disappointment. Sure, KD shouldn’t entirely be blamed for the Nets’ failure, but he’s currently getting criticized because he’s giving up on the franchise after just signing a 4-year extension worth $198 million in April 2021. From the outside looking in, it seems like Durant is betraying his team and leaving as his situation in Brooklyn gets more complicated as each day passes.
From a player’s point of view
However, many players like Alex Caruso believe that Durant has every right to do what he’s doing because, in retrospect, this is precisely what every team does to its players. Caruso thinks that if teams have the liberty to treat their players like assets and moveable pieces, it’s only fitting for players to do the same thing to their team.
“It just hit me somebody said this, the players are finally treating this like the teams and the organizations have for so many years. They finally realized the business side of this like okay, I have leverage, I’m an asset, let me make this work to the best of my ability because if the organization or the team has the chance to upgrade they’re going to upgrade. So like I see how people like you said earlier like you know you’re a victim of the circumstance if you’re in the league and you have this type of wealth and and income it’s different than you’re sitting at home reading about this guy trying to get from 40 million to 50 dollars like I understand that’s a real thing,” Caruso said in his latest appearance on The Old Man and The Three podcast w/ JJ Redick.
“You have to sit back and look at it and just think that so many years you’ve heard horror stories of guys finding out on Twitter or finding out on tv that they got traded and I think it’s finally just to the point where players are like 'All right well I’m gonna do the same thing,'” The Chicago Bulls guard added.
A problem that needs to be addressed
Durant requesting a trade out of Brooklyn is only one of the many that have happened in the league for the past few years. We’ve seen the same scenario with Anthony Davis, James Harden (oh, the irony), Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, Ben Simmons, and more.
It’s clear that this doesn’t sit well with team owners and general managers (unless they’re the ones benefiting from it), who will probably discuss this in the following Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) meeting that will take place in the 2023-2024 season.
It will be interesting to see how this dynamic plays out in the coming year. Will the reciprocations lead to a lockout? Will team owners accept that no player contract is safe in the NBA? Or will players finally be restricted from asking for trade while they’re in the middle of their contract?
So many questions need to be resolved, but from the current looks of it, it’s far from being addressed.