Report: Kevin Durant ‘Balked’ at Being Traded for D’Angelo Russell

by July 11, 2019
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Kevin Durant reportedly didn’t think it was “fair” for Golden State to trade him straight up for D’Angelo Russell this summer.

KD and the Brooklyn Nets ended up squeezing the Warriors for a first round draft pick to make the blockbuster sign-and-trade work.

The Dubs were also forced to give up an additional (lightly protected) future pick in a swap with the Memphis Grizzlies for Andre Iguodala.

Per ESPN:

The Brooklyn Nets had enough cap space to sign Kevin Durant outright, and there was no specific advantage for Durant to take part in a sign-and-trade deal to help the Warriors out. Nor was it that great an advantage to Nets free agent D’Angelo Russell, who had other teams, including the Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves, vying for him, knowing that the Nets would have to make him an unrestricted free agent to complete the Durant signing.

Durant initially balked at being traded for Russell straight up, multiple sources said. He didn’t think it was a fair deal, and in this case, the Warriors had to not just satisfy the Nets, but also Durant.

Leverage was applied by the player, and Golden State had to include a first-round pick before Durant would agree to sign off.

Also, the Warriors had to take on two players, Shabazz Napier and Treveon Graham to make the trade work. It helped the Nets clear extra space to sign DeAndre Jordan, who is friends with Durant and new teammate Kyrie Irving. Golden State had to turn around and pay Minnesota $3.6 million to take Napier and Graham off its books.

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