BROOKLYN, NY - FEBRUARY 2: Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets and Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets reacts during a game against the LA Clippers on February 2, 2021 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

Last week, Kevin Durant reportedly gave the Nets’ governor Joe Tsai an ultimatum: either trade him or fire head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks. Tsai publicly backed his team in response, and since then, no deals have been made.

However, one NBA executive has suggested that Tsai would be wasting his time trying to keep Durant in Brooklyn, even if he fires whoever the player wants to be fired.

Marc Stein stated in his Substack newsletter that an informed NBA executive has told him that Durant is more likely to retire than to return to the Brooklyn Nets for the upcoming season.

Stein wrote:

“During summer league in Las Vegas, one of the most well-connected team executives I speak to regularly insisted to me that, based on what he was hearing, Kevin Durant was more apt to retire than play again for the Brooklyn Nets. This was in early July.”

The bold demand that Durant made to the team owner did very little to boost his trade value, and Stein reports that teams are understandably hesitant to put their futures in the hands of a superstar they don’t think they can trust, which compounds the difficulty of finding enough assets to make a deal for Durant.