Durant and Irving had discussed linking up earlier in the season.
There were quite a few NBA teams who got better this Summer and the Brooklyn Nets were one of them. They were able to secure the services of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant who had been tied to one another since the All-Star break. At first, some thought they would be going to the New York Knicks, although it was clear that the Nets were the more viable option. Durant is out with an Achilles injury next year but when he comes back, the Nets will be contenders to win an NBA championship.
Thanks to a new story from Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix, it was revealed that Durant's decision wasn't 100 percent related to Kyrie. In fact, Durant had a tough decision in front of him and weighed all of his options before making a choice. As Mannix explained, Irving was definitely a factor but he wasn't the be all, end all.
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"Durant’s decision took longer. The Knicks were in play, though never to the all-but-done-deal extent that had been reported. So, too, were the Warriors, who could offer a five-year, $221 million contract—one year and $57 million more than Brooklyn could pay. What Durant wanted was simple. A good team. A strong, supportive environment. The Nets checked all the boxes. Durant’s decision was never directly tied to Irving’s, but the opportunity to play with his close friend certainly appealed to him."
The Nets were able to clear space for Durant and Kyrie by trading away D'Angelo Russell to the Golden State Warriors. Needless to say, they were a busy team this offseason.