The Nets’ Kevin Durant-Kyrie Irving period formally ended Thursday evening, together with their title hopes.
Normal supervisor Sean Marks had no alternative however to acknowledge how troublesome it was to commerce Durant within the wee hours Thursday morning, and that — because the Nets entered a rebuilding course of — their grand experiment merely hadn’t panned out.
“Look, I’m not going to sugarcoat it. It’s all the time troublesome if you’re buying and selling a participant of that stature and that ilk, very troublesome,” Marks stated. “My job as a GM and our job as a entrance workplace is to attempt to herald that caliber of expertise and so forth. So these selections aren’t straightforward.”
No quantity of sugar might make this capsule any much less bitter or simpler to swallow.
When the Nets added Durant and Irving in the summertime of 2019, championships turned the aim. Once they traded for James Harden to type arguably probably the most offensively potent Massive 3 in NBA historical past, titles turned a destiny accompli.
Besides destiny didn’t agree. Again luck, unhealthy chemistry, unhealthy teaching, unhealthy no matter, that trio performed simply 16 video games collectively — with their final coincidentally coming towards Chicago, additionally the Nets’ foe Thursday evening.
Harden pressured a commerce final Feb. 10. Irving demanded one final Friday. Durant adopted, along with his commerce to Phoenix ending the superteam that by no means was.
“I take a look at it internally and say as effectively, it didn’t work. Let’s be sincere there. We didn’t attain the complete potential of the place we thought we’d might get to, our hopes and truthfully beliefs,” Marks stated. “However once more, I look again and we’ve achieved a variety of considering and soul looking on this and we stated, effectively, we did all the things we probably might to maximise this group’s potential, to have ourselves within the dialog for a championship.
“So, it didn’t work. A few of that’s by way of issues we will management, some by way of issues that we will’t management. However the finish of the day, once more, now we’re targeted on this pathway proper now.”
That pathway is rebuilding, shifting Durant for Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, 4 first-round picks, a 2028 decide swap and a few second-round picks. The Nets reportedly requested Phoenix for a similar deal when Durant put in his summer time commerce request, and the Suns declined to place in Bridges, a Defensive Participant of the Yr runner-up.
At that time, Marks and workforce proprietor Joe Tsai satisfied Durant to remain. However this time he wouldn’t be swayed, presumably pushed over the sting by the Irving deal.
“These are discussions between Kevin, myself, Joe, Wealthy [Kleiman, Durant’s manager],” Marks stated. “It’s been a terrific partnership all the way in which alongside, round Kevin’s tenure. They’ve been nice to us. These are ongoing discussions behind closed doorways, however they’re sincere discussions. We don’t all the time agree on all the things, that’s not what it’s all the time about. However … we felt that this was the correct time.
“There’s a restrict, proper? You may definitely attempt to persuade guys and you set your greatest foot ahead and say right here’s what the roster seems like, right here’s what we’re making an attempt to do. However on the finish of the day, I feel this works out for all events included.”
It was a deal that the Nets felt would maintain them probably the most aggressive. However having to commerce Durant — and shut their championship window — left Marks unhappy, mad and tons of different feelings abruptly.
“[Wednesday] evening, I used to be unhappy,” stated Marks. “You do all the things you probably can as a way to put collectively a workforce you could be happy with and say hey, we could be in that championship dialog.”
Marks praised Bridges and Johnson, and famous the Nets have way more picks to rebuild with than when he arrived. He talked across the Irving commerce, and about how the guard stated he felt “disrespected” in Brooklyn and had been plotting his exit after Yr 1.
“Once you get to a degree like we are actually and it didn’t work, we didn’t know, we weren’t the final workforce standing … it’s straightforward to mirror and return and say, effectively, this, that or the opposite, whether or not it’s pointing fingers or what have you ever,” Marks stated. “We now have to internally take a look at did we do all the things we might have? Might we’ve achieved extra? Certain. However that’s on all people … so I don’t need to converse for Kyrie and want nothing however he and his household all the very best.”
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