Basketball: Durant issues cryptic tweet after NBA trade demand

Durant's request to leave the Brooklyn Nets sent a shockwave through the sport. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Kevin Durant issued a cryptic tweet on Saturday (July 2) in his first public comment since it was revealed he has asked to be traded from the NBA's Brooklyn Nets.

The two-time NBA champion and 2014 NBA Most Valuable Player sent a shockwave through free agency with reports on Thursday that he wanted to leave the Nets, with Phoenix and Miami his preferred trade destinations.

Durant, a 14-year NBA veteran, provided little clue about his motivations on social media even as he ended his silence on the matter.

"The ones who were locked in that gym with me know what it is, they know what I'm about," Durant tweeted. "If u haven't been in there with me, ask around."

Durant, who turns 34 in September, averaged 28.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 6.1 assists in the past two seasons with the Nets after leaving Golden State and missing the entire 2019-20 campaign with a right Achilles tendon injury.

The 12-time NBA All-Star forward has helped the United States win the past three Olympic gold medals.

His arrival with the Nets together with Kyrie Irving brought hopes that Brooklyn would become a powerhouse club but such lofty dreams never came to pass.

The Nets lost in the second round of last year's playoffs to eventual champion Milwaukee and were swept out in the first round of this year's playoffs by Boston.

Teams will struggle to be able to make a trade for Durant that satisfies the Nets.

Durant has four years and US$198 million (S$275 million) remaining on a contract extension signed with the Nets, and multiple reports say Brooklyn has set a high trade haul for any club interested in a deal for Durant.

The Athletic reported Saturday that the Minnesota Timberwolves asked the Nets about Durant but were told the number of All-Stars and NBA Draft picks Brooklyn sought and, not wanting to part with Karl-Anthony Towns, decided to swing a deal on Friday with Utah for Rudy Gobert.

NBA teams cannot sign deals with players for the upcoming 2022-23 season before Wednesday, with reports the only hint of what's coming from players and clubs for the upcoming campaign.

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