The Brooklyn Nets acquired 10-time All Star Kevin Durant this offseason, but it wasn’t through free agency, rather via a sign-and-trade with the Golden State Warriors that sent restricted free agent D’Angelo Russell to the Bay Area.
On top of getting a champion in Durant, the team was able to secure a potential first-round draft pick as part of the deal, and they have Kevin Durant to thank for that.
According to a report by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst — Durant didn’t think being traded for Russell straight up was good enough, so he pressured his former team into sending a pick as well.
“First, 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.”
In addition to the pick, the Nets also forced Golden State to take Shabazz Napier and Treveon Graham, which helped the team sign DeAndre Jordan as a free agent.
Also, because of that sign-and-trade, the Warriors had to trade Andre Iguodala and a protected 2024 first round pick to the Memphis Grizzlies because of salary cap ramifications.