LOS ANGELES (AFP) – As the NBA braced for the free agency negotiating window to open on Thursday (June 30), superstar Kevin Durant requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets according to US media reports.
ESPN, citing unnamed sources, said Durant – a two-time NBA champion with the Golden State Warriors – was eyeing a move to either the Phoenix Suns or the Miami Heat, but that the Nets would be aiming to get the best deal possible for the star with four years remaining on his contract.
Durant, 33, re-signed with the Nets in 2021 for four years and US$198 million (S$275 million).
He arrived in Brooklyn in 2019, departing Golden State to form a superteam alongside point guard Kyrie Irving.
The Nets would later acquire star guard James Harden, but the star trio never gelled.
Irving missed much of the 2021-22 season after declining to be vaccinated against coronavirus, a disgruntled Harden was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in February and the Nets were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics.
Durant’s trade request shook the league hours before the opening of free agency on Thursday, when teams can officially begin talks to sign players who are not under contract.
A day earlier, Irving exercised his option to remain under contract with the Nets for a US$36.9 million in the upcoming season, although he could still depart Brooklyn via a sign and trade package.