Three years since his controversial departure from the Oklahoma City Thunder, two-time NBA champion Kevin Durant made one of the biggest headlines once again last summer. After three consecutive trips to the Finals and winning two NBA championship titles, Durant decided to leave the Golden State Warriors to join forces with Kyrie Irving on the Brooklyn Nets in free agency. Though winning another championship ring remains his main goal, there seems to be another major reason why KD took his talent to Brooklyn in the 2019 offseason.
In a recent appearance on Play for Keeps podcast, Durant discussed several topics, including his decision to start a new journey with the Nets last summer. Aside from Irving, KD revealed that there were players who were already on the Nets’ roster that he was really interested to play with. Durant said that Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie were among the people that played a major role in his decision to sign a four-year, $164 million contract with the Nets in free agency.
“I felt that having young players, I wanted to be around younger players,” Durant said, as quoted by Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “I wanted to be around Caris LeVert, guys who I got to know over the last couple of years. Spencer Dinwiddie, somebody I enjoyed playing against. So everything aligned when I was thinking about it. Obviously, Kyrie is somebody who I admire his game, I wanted to hoop with. It was just who I wanted to hoop with at this point.”
It’s easy to understand why Durant was very interested in playing alongside LeVert and Dinwiddie. Before numerous superstars arrived in Brooklyn, they were part of the core that helped the Nets end their playoff drought last season. By seeing them play and going up against them in the past years, Durant must have seen the potentials of LeVert and Dinwiddie and how they could him bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy in Brooklyn.
LeVert and Dinwiddie must have somewhat felt a sense of relief hearing those words from Durant. Since Irving made a statement about the team’s need for additional star power, rumors have been continuously swirling around LeVert and Dinwiddie, who are both expected to be included in the trade package that would enable the Nets to land their third superstar this fall. Though he remains on the sideline due to injury, Nets General Manager Sean Marks reportedly considered KD as a “loud voice” in shaping the franchise’s future. If Durant really wants them as his teammates, there’s a strong chance that LeVert and Dinwiddie will still be official members of the Nets when the 2020-21 NBA season officially starts.