Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald reported Tuesday — following news that Kevin Durant issued an ultimatum to the Brooklyn Nets about his lost faith in team management — that, “Barring a change of heart, the expectation is Miami will not budge on its stance of keeping Adebayo and Butler off limits.”
Kevin Durant's reported ultimatum and the Nets' response: What it means for Durant's trade request, the Heat and other teams around the league https://t.co/65OyUK53W0— Anthony Chiang (@Anthony_Chiang) August 9, 2022
Now, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel said July 22 that while there had been internal consideration to use Bam Adebayo in a trade for Durant, “at least one influential member of the organization” shot down the notion. Of course, the Nets cannot take Adebayo in a trade without first trading Ben Simmons to another team. A team cannot have two players acquired via trade who were signed to the Designated Rookie Extension.
Although Jimmy Butler and Kevin Durant are both max players — Durant’s salary for this year is roughly $44 million, while Butler’s is $37.7 million — rumors haven’t mentioned the two in potential trades. By the start of this season, Butler will be 33 years old and Durant will be 34. Brooklyn is likely looking for younger players than Butler.
Some thought that Durant’s ultimatum may force the Nets to lower their high asking price for Durant. But as Tom Ziller pointed out in his Substack, “I’m rooting for Tsai to redirect the pressure back to Durant and Kyrie: if this is really an ultimatum, are you going to no-show and sacrifice a season? Are you going to Ben Simmons this thing in the presence of Ben Simmons?”