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NBA insiders think Kevin Durant requested trade to get Kyrie Irving out of Brooklyn

Matt Johnson

Kevin Durant joined the Brooklyn Nets in 2019 to compete for a championship with Kyrie Irving. Just a few years later, as the team is on the brink of a historic collapse, there is now a belief that Durant’s trade request is entirely to get away from Irving.

Durant has been loyal to his friends for years, especially during the COVID standoff with the Nets. At a time when the Nets didn’t want Irving playing as a part-time player due to his unvaccinated status, Durant always showed unwavering loyalty to his co-star.

Related: Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving ‘know’ leaving Brooklyn Nets unlikely

Things might be changing. As the Irving trade rumors floated early this offseason, Durant directly requested a trade from ownership. Many viewed it at the time as the nail in the coffin for the Nets, but there is a new idea gaining traction in the NBA.

  • Kevin Durant contract: Four years, $194.219 million remaining

Appearing on The Lowe Post podcast, Dave McMenamin of ESPN shared that conversations around the league have found a thought gaining popularity around the league. Several people in the NBA believe Durant requested out of Brooklyn with the goal of simply getting Irving off the Nets.

“There is a school of thought speaking to people around the league that they think the Kevin Durant trade request wasn’t actually about him getting out of Brooklyn, it was about getting Kyrie Irving out of Brooklyn.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN on belief inside NBA on Kevin Durant’s trade request

It would be a major shift for a 33-year-old who is recognized as being especially loyal to those he is closest to in the NBA. However, it’s also possible Durant no longer believes winning a championship is a viable option if he shares the floor with Irving.

  • Kevin Durant stats (2021-’22): 28.9 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 6.4 APG

As of now, there are no signs a blockbuster trade is imminent involving either superstar. The Phoenix Suns can’t realistically acquire Durant until January and Brooklyn isn’t receiving the offers it wants for either player.

Whether Durant’s goal of requesting a trade was to either get himself out of Brooklyn or to get Irving elsewhere, neither outcome is happening right now. While that will certainly change at some point this season, Durant and Irving are likely both resigned to the fact that neither of them is in the situation they prefer.