Kevin Durant shuts down trade rumors, stays in Brooklyn: What superstar’s decision means for Nets, Celtics, Lakers and rest of NBA

After weeks of reports, rumours, speculation and tweets, Kevin Durant has ended up right where he started.

On Tuesday morning, the Nets released a statement announcing the team would retain Durant, who reportedly requested a trade from Brooklyn on June 30.

“[Nets coach] Steve Nash and I, along with [team owners] Joe Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai, met with Kevin Durant and [Durant’s business partner] Rich Kleiman in Los Angeles yesterday,” Nets general manager Sean Marks said in the statement. “We have agreed to continue our partnership. We are focused on basketball with a common goal in mind: build a lasting franchise to bring a championship to Brooklyn.”

This news comes after Durant reportedly met with Joe Tsai earlier this month and gave him an ultimatum: Either trade him or Nash and Marks fire them. Tsai later tweeted his support for the front office and the coaching staff, leaving both sides in a very awkward situation.

Now, Durant and the Nets appear to be putting their issues behind them. They plan that this significant step will be the beginning of a “long-term marriage”. according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post.

How is this big Durant domino affecting the rest of the league?

MORE: How much longer will Durant be a superstar?

The Nets could be legitimate competitors in the east

It’s impossible to ignore potential chemical and health issues, but on paper, Brooklyn has a fantastic list.

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Durant and Kyrie Irving provide a dynamic double whammy. Ben Simmons has flaws, but he’s undoubtedly a great defender and passer. There are several role players capable of slipping into the starting XI or coming off the bench, including Joe Harris, who only played 14 games last season.

Had Durant been traded, the Nets would not have been viewed as a threat to the Eastern Conference, and Durant would have been stuck with a team with no future assets. This result makes sense for both sides.

The Celtics move forward with their core

Boston was in talks with Brooklyn over a Durant deal, according to multiple reports. The Celtics offered a package including Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and a draft pick for Durant, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, but the Nets were pushing for much more.

With a Durant trade off the table, Boston can keep its Brown and Jayson Tatum-led core in place and focus on the ultimate goal: winning the franchise’s 18th championship. The Celtics were just two wins short of the title last season and added Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari in the offseason.

At a time of constant player movement, there were likely many Celtics fans happy to see the current group staying together for another season.

Lebron James

The Lakers aren’t getting Kyrie Irving

Charania recently reported that Irving, who exercised his $36.5 million player option for the 2022-23 season early in the free agency period, was committed to the Nets even before the team issued a statement on Durants status published. Brooklyn had informed interested teams that it intends to keep Irving via Charania.

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Perhaps if the Durant situation had gotten really messy, the Nets’ attitude would have changed, but those fences have been mended. That means the Lakers, the team most often linked to Irving in trade rumours, will have to look elsewhere for help.

Los Angeles needs to maximize the back end of LeBron James’ prime. Unfortunately for the Lakers, there aren’t many other win-now options. They may need to get creative and trade several future first-round picks if they want to climb the Western Conference rankings.

Donovan Mitchell’s trade market and the remaining free agents

Move, KD. Mitchell is the biggest name in the trading market.

The teams stuck in Durant-related queues were now able to enter the Mitchell Sweepstakes. The Knicks still appear to be the suitor most likely to take over Mitchell if Jazz moves him, but Utah could wait and spark a bidding war.

For the rest of the league, the floodgates could open up for the free agents still on the board. Two-time All-Star Isaiah Thomas even joked about Tuesday’s news on Twitter.

Yes, a small statement can do everything the.

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