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Kevin Durant staying at Brooklyn Nets, updates, future, contract, Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons, statement, trade

Kevin Durant is based in Brooklyn. And the Nets aren’t just running him back — they’re keeping him together.

After meeting face-to-face to clear the air, Nets general manager Sean Marks said in a statement that Durant — who requested a trade — and the team are “moving forward” together in pursuit of the franchise’s first championship in history.

A highly placed Nets source emphasized that this isn’t simply a case of scaring Durant into staying for the upcoming season, rather than running back and having Ben Simmons and Kyrie Irving take a final, all-or-nothing shot at a title. After a one-year contract. He signed a four-year, $198 million extension last summer that begins this season.

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“We want to build a sustainable franchise,” the source told the Post, “so it’s not just this year.”

That tête-à-tête in California — where Durant was recently seen working out with Irving — involved all the powers that be in this protracted melodrama of nearly two months of NBA hostages: Marks and Nets coach Steve Nash — both of whom wanted Durant fired — as well as Durant’s business. Partner Rich Kleiman, Nets owner Joe Tai and his wife Clara Wu Chi.

“Steve Nash and I, along with Joe Tye and Clara Wu Tsi, met with Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman yesterday in Los Angeles. We agreed to move forward with our partnership,” Mark said.

“We are focusing on basketball with one common goal in mind: build a sustainable franchise to bring Brooklyn to a championship.”

NBA front office chief Bobby Marks said Wednesday’s development was “not surprising.”

“The networks were waiting for the perfect trade package that never came,” he said ESPN.

“The lingering question is whether Durant can stay in training camp and be a distraction. This has been put to bed as both parties have wisely stopped any trade speculation.

Kevin Durant will be back.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images).
Kevin Durant will be back. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images).Source: Getty Images

The Post reported weeks ago that Durant was slated to attend training camp, which begins on Sept. 27. But this news not only makes it official, it also clarifies that he and the Nets plan to have a long marriage.

Durant originally requested a trade from Brooklyn on June 30, a few days after Irving completed tryout contract negotiations, picking up nearly $37 million in player options this season.

After Durant expressed his desire to be traded to the Miami Heat or Phoenix Suns, the Nets made it clear they did not want to trade him, asking for the four-time champion’s sky-high return: another star, a young talent and a collection of first-round draft picks.

Back on July 12, The Post reported that Irving was all interested in staying in Brooklyn and staying with Net; And there’s a good chance the team will hang on to Durant in the coming weeks.

Earlier this month, Durant had a meeting with Tsai and reiterated his desire to trade. Sources told the Post that Nash had then asked to be fired, The Athletic reported, and that Marks would also be fired.

But Ty has publicly backed the coach and general manager. He stood his ground, and eventually Durant came around.

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He remembers the summer of 2007 when the late Kobe Bryant went on Los Angeles radio and asked for a trade from the Lakers, saying he’d rather play on Pluto. But after scouring the trade market and finding nothing even remotely close to the all-time great, the Lakers snapped him up.

Bryant went on to win the MVP the following season, leading the Lakers to the finals. He led them to back-to-back championships the next two years.

The Nets can only hope to approach that level of success.

But Durant — the two-time Finals MVP — is coming off a season in which he averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists. He, Irving and Ben Simmons form a Big Three with a combined 22 All-Star picks, and they join Joe Harris, Seth Curry and Nick Claxton in a core that now has no excuse not to compete for a title.

This article appeared first The New York Postand reproduced with permission.

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