Nets’ Joe Tsai picks Sean Marks, Steve Nash over Kevin Durant

Alder Almo
Kevin Durant, Steve Nash, Nets
Jan 27, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) sits on the scorer’s table behind head coach Steve Nash against the Atlanta Hawks in the second quarter at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Brooklyn Nets governor Joe Tsai was unfazed by Kevin Durant’s ultimatum.

After news broke out Monday that Durant reportedly told Tsai to choose between him and the Sean Marks-Steve Nash tandem, Tsai went to social media to publicly voice his unequivocal support for his much-maligned GM and coach.

Durant tried to create leverage by forcing Tsai’s hand to choose between him and the Nets’ current leadership. But the Nets ownership is determined to cut off their superstars’ power over the franchise.

With no team yet to meet the Nets’ sky-high asking price, chances are high that Durant could still be stuck in Brooklyn when training camp begins next month. Brooklyn can afford to wait as Durant’s $198 million, four-year extension is just about to start.

If Durant elects to sit out, the Nets can take a page out of Philadelphia 76ers GM Daryl Morey’s playbook on how they handled Ben Simmons last season.

Simmons, who was part of the James Harden trade, was initially viewed as a complementary piece to the Durant-Kyrie Irving pairing. But with a Durant trade now inevitable, Simmons has the chance to fulfill his dream of running his own team, one of the reasons he bolted out from Joel Embiid and the Sixers.

The Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat remain on top of Durant’s wish list, but the Boston Celtics, the team that swept them in the first round, had emerged as a viable option with Jaylen Brown as the centerpiece of a potential deal.

The Nets reportedly countered with a package that also includes NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart and multiple Celtics’ first-round picks.

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