The Brooklyn Nets should play hardball with Kevin Durant’s preferred destinations, the Miami Heat or Phoenix Suns.

Here’s a new idea for Sean Marks, general manager of Brooklyn NetsHe leads Kevin Durant’s demand that the superstar be traded to certain teams: to hell with player power.

Of course say it nicer than that. Use charm and professionalism in communicating with Durant’s business manager, Rich Kleiman, and they can work together to find an amicable deal. Sing Kumbaya together. Pretend the world is puppies and rainbows. It’s already been the case that Marks and the Nets want to work with Durant as they try to find the perfect return for Brooklyn.

Say what you want. The real task, however, is to push back the temptation to even remotely care that Durant wants to play for this team or that team next. Heat or the Suns Or whatever group of contending teams his misdemeanors stand out. Durant was Part of the Nets’ power structure and Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Ben Simmons and a partner trying to navigate the rough waters of a disappointing year.

Now he’s an asset, a great player with four years — four years! — left under contract. He was, in fact, the most valuable player on the trade market given those years, and he asked Nets owner Joe Chai to leave right around Marks. There may be no communication with the Nets front office all week.

Does he like to play hardball?

No problem, Kevin. Here’s some hardball for you:

The Heat cannot trade Bam Adebayo to the Nets, one of the teams on his “wish list,” as long as Ben Simmons remains on Brooklyn’s roster, as neither team can carry two players with a designated rookie extension. And any bam should be equal to any contract. It’s hardball, and moving Simmons now would be even more of a threat, say Lakers Moving on from Westbrook. Also, the Bam/Tyler Herro/Duncan Robinson/Picks finish isn’t enough.

ยท Possible offers from the Suns — the other “wish list” team — add up to an equally unpalatable return for a player of Durant’s stature with several years left on his contract. First, the DeAndre Ayton sign-and-trade hardens the Nets. Second, Ayton, Cam Johnson, Mikal Bridges, and even low-value draft picks, the Durant-Booker-aged-CP3 team hasn’t coughed up lottery picks, even if it’s been years now.

Seriously. Why on earth would you want, basically, the Phoenix Suns last year, but Simmons was traded for Devin Booker and Chris Paul.

No thanks. you.

There are several things happening at once here, and they all point to the Nets needing to push back on a player-power movement that has turned into a star-players-with-all-the-power movement.

First, Durant, who has an injury history, turns 34 in September and has four years left on his contract. There’s not a shred of a chance that KD had blown out his MCL, or gotten seriously injured, or held back in terms of release, to wake up one morning in Brooklyn and agree to give some of that away. Return the money. It’s a deal. It’s a deal. He got protection in case of misfortune or sudden old age. The Nets should keep Durant for what they got — four more years, or an exact return to match Kevin Durant’s value over those four years.

Two, the Nets traded young talent under Marks, collecting Irving, Durant and Harden, and then, to Harden’s demands, acquiring Ben Simmons. That list includes: Jared Culver, Caris LaVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAngelo Russell and Demar Carroll. That young team made the playoffs once and was impressive enough to go from truly contending to being a star. They also boasted a strong culture with a ceiling.

So here’s Sean Marks, gambling on Durant and Irving, now confronting his superstar — as so many do these days — demanding an exit. And Specific definitions.

This brings us to the third fact: GMs are expected to act in the best interests of their team, but they also act in their own interests. Marks can’t deeply love the trades of picks and young players they might not see if they don’t survive the post-Kyrie-and-Durant meltdowns.

Cady played hardball and didn’t care an ounce for the Nets’ future or Marks’ career. Well done. Everyone here is an adult. But why on earth would Marx do anything outside of his and his group’s best interests?

Marks, who went from years in charge of a team that was severely limited in its options, to being promising, young, and considered a contender, Durant’s change of heart could ignite a potential dumpster fire.

So, there’s a single word that should score this latest request from Durant’s wish list: no.

In anticipation of Durant going this route, I spoke with NBA league sources this week about a star’s refusal to budge on his exit request. They met with a variety of responses. Hopelessness. Reminders that the Stars can shut it down, the Nets have a front-line example in Simmons. The devastating impact of a star who plays but doesn’t try.

All valid points.

But Durant’s needs aren’t a concern for the Nets. Meet his hard ball on their own. Do you want to sit out? Well done. Sit through the next four years. Do you want to play somewhere else? We will see. Find us a deal we like, not (again) a precedent that suits your selfish needs. Do you want the ring elsewhere? Yes, we’ve seen that story from you before. Understand that we’re chasing our own ring, and we won’t move you without the pieces necessary to make it possible.

Talk to Grizzlies As for whether they’ll part ways with some of their young stars not named Ja Morant. If so, tell me, look at that Atlanta Hawks Will trade Trae Young and a first-round pick for Durant. Call Houston about those options. Point out that — and, yes, of course, this is pushing it — irony aside, two of the most compelling collections are actually forthcoming. Oklahoma City Thunder And this Golden State Warriors. See that Boston Celtics KD should be replaced by either Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown (and, in Brown’s case, some).

Investigate every silly idea. Because trading KD for less than the Nets need is insane, highly destructive, and just as likely to end as badly as they did when they caved to Harden’s same request.

Durant has already gone to the mattresses with his GM. It is time for Marx to remember that it is not personal. It’s strictly business.

Brooklyn Nets The Brooklyn Nets are in business, not Kevin Durant’s next team daydreams.

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