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Brooklyn Nets governor Joe Tsai voices support for front office, coaches in wake of Kevin Durant's trade demands

NBA, Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn Nets governor Joe Tsai voiced his support Monday night for the front office and coaching staff after Kevin Durant told Tsai to choose between him and the team's general manager and coach.

Tsai and Durant recently met in London, ESPN sources confirmed, and Durant reiterated his desire to be traded and suggested the franchise needed to choose between him and coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks.

Durant initially asked for a trade on June 30, and he hasn't backed off that request. At 33 years old, Durant has four years and $198 million left on his contract, which means Brooklyn can be patient in waiting out teams for the kind of return it believes will eventually emerge for a star player reaching the trade market in his prime.

The meeting between Durant and Tsai was first reported by The Athletic, which also noted it occurred on the one-year anniversary of Durant signing his extension.

Durant, along with Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan, joined the Nets in the summer of 2019 after Marks and then-coach Kenny Atkinson had helped lead the franchise out of the doldrums and to a surprising postseason berth.

Since then, nothing has gone the way the Nets planned.

Durant sat out the 2019-20 season while recovering from an Achilles tendon tear, Jordan was traded, Nash was hired to replace Atkinson, James Harden has come and gone, and Ben Simmons has yet to make his Nets debut.

Irving, who played in 29 games last season after choosing to not get the COVID-19 vaccine, also has pursued an exit from Brooklyn this offseason. He created a list of teams he would have liked the Nets to consider working with on a sign-and-trade deal, but when none materialized, he opted into the final year of his contract. The Nets could still trade him as an expiring contract (although Irving would have no formal voice in a potential landing spot) and have until June 30 of next year to work out an extension before he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Durant averaged 29.9 points in 55 games last season, after leading the United States to Olympic gold at the Tokyo Games last summer.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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