What we just saw with Kevin Durant is a player who, despite having four years left on his contract, still had the audacity to not only demand a trade out of the blue but give the Nets a list of desired destinations. With legit zero contractual leverage, Durant is attempting to force his way out of Brooklyn to a contender, and for the sake of the future of the league, I think they need to make a stand by sending him to NBA purgatory.
By NBA purgatory, I mean a franchise like the Sacramento Kings, Charlotte Hornets, or Washington Wizards that are not only small markets but have struggled mightily historically. The Nets cannot afford to let Durant go to his desired contenders like the Miami Heat or Phoenix Suns because of the precedent they risk setting. If he wants to do that, he can play through the four years on his contract, then leave.
Just imagine I'm Dr. Strange, and I've looked at all the possible scenarios here to tell you Kevin Durant needs to be traded to Sacramento to save the league.
It may mean receiving less desirable assets, but it is a much-needed sacrifice to reset this era of player empowerment. Players will learn they can't just sign a contract for hundreds of millions, regret the destination, then turn around and tell a team where they trade them. Nah, you want a trade so bad? Say less. Let's see how much you like playing basketball in Sacramento, California, or Charlotte, North Carolina, on a Wednesday evening.
I'm NOT saying everyone needs to be a Damian Lillard prototype that is super loyal to a team and refuses to run from the grind- please, some of them need to run from that grind (Bradley Beal). I'm a fan of player empowerment, but only in free agency. Otherwise, follow through with your word and fulfill your contractual obligations. Or else, when this current collective bargaining agreement between the players and owners ends in 2024, the league will come back with the type of vengeance that will lead to a lockout and-or a situation where NBA contracts are no longer fully guaranteed.