NBA rumors: Kevin Durant demanded Warriors give Nets first-round pick

Drew Shiller
NBC Sports BayArea

On June 30, Kevin Durant announced that he would sign with the Nets in free agency.

But technically, he ended up signing with the Warriors and then was shipped to Brooklyn in a "sign-and-trade" that brought D'Angelo Russell to the Dubs.

Although the transaction came to fruition, KD wasn't on board from the beginning.

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Brian Windhorst of ESPN has the details:

Durant initially balked at being traded for Russell straight up, multiple sources said. He didn't think it was a fair deal, and in this case, the Warriors had to not just satisfy the Nets, but also Durant.

Leverage was applied by the player, and Golden State had to include a first-round pick before Durant would agree to sign off. The Warriors begrudgingly gave it up and did so with a heavy condition: If the pick falls within the top 20 next year, they don't have to send it, and instead will only give Brooklyn a second-round pick ... in six years. It's one of the most unusual pick protections the NBA has seen recently.

One school of thought is that the two-time NBA Finals MVP did the Warriors a favor because he could have said no under any circumstances.

Another is that Durant comes across as being a little petty by refusing to cooperate unless the first-round pick was included.

If the Dubs ultimately send their 2020 first rounder to the Nets it means the 2019-20 season was a success.

[RELATEDNew details emerge regarding Durant's contract with Nets]

It seems that the perfect scenario from a Golden State perspective would be for the pick to fall between 15 and 20, which would mean the Warriors made the playoffs and they get to keep the draft pick.

It will be fascinating to see how it unfolds.

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NBA rumors: Kevin Durant demanded Warriors give Nets first-round pick originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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