It’s pretty clear that Kevin Durant had a major say in the Nets’ decision to trade for Clippers three-point specialist Landry Shamet.
All eyes have been on the Brooklyn Nets this week in light of James Harden rejecting a lucrative contract extension and promptly demanding a trade to pursue a championship while playing alongside fellow superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
The NBA Draft and inception of free agency served as needed distractions from that hysteria, as GM Sean Marks pulled off a pair of moves — trading for Clippers sharpshooter Landry Shamet and re-signing marksman Joe Harris — that fans in Brooklyn should be thrilled with.
While retaining Harris was rumored to be one of the Nets’ top priorities during the truncated offseason, trading for Shamet by using the 19th pick was a largely unexpected transaction. However, when you consider how much he impressed Durant during their first-round playoff matchup in 2019, you’ll come to the realization that the two-time Finals MVP was an advocate of trading for him.
From that point, the duo developed a strong bond, and Durant even invited Shamet to Brooklyn’s impromptu workouts earlier this month. If that doesn’t convince you that KD had major pull in this trade, then nothing will.
“It’s funny, that’s who I was primarily playing a lot of pickup with a bit at Mamba Sports Academy this fall,” Shamet told reporters on Friday. “Over my offseason, I’ve been able to play with those two guys, play against them, get to know them (Durant and Irving).”
“I’m excited. I like how they both play. They both move, they want to set screens and play in space. They’re unselfish, willing passers. They’re smart. My wheels have been spinning on how I can get involved and how I can get those guys shots and how I’ll be able to contribute.”
Shamet might be joining his third team since entering the NBA as a first-round pick back in 2018, but his workouts with and evident fondness for Durant and Irving prove that he shouldn’t find much difficulty adjusting to life in Brooklyn.
The Wichita State product is renowned for his marksmanship and quick release, and they were on full display in that 2019 playoff series, when the heavy underdog Clippers gave the championship-favorite Warriors all they could handle.
For his career, Shamet has averaged 9.2 points per game while shooting 42% from the floor and a remarkable 40.2% on threes. The Nets will obviously have a ton of mouths to feed this season, but fans should expect the 23-year-old to post similar numbers (if not better) given how seamlessly his skillset will complement the playing styles of Durant and Irving.
We all know how much Shamet flourishes in catch-and-shoot situations, and there should be plenty of real estate beyond the arc for him to wander about and get his feet ready with KD and Kyrie commanding double teams.
Durant is clearly aware of the value these attributes bring to the Nets’ offense and you can’t help but feel that he played a role in Marks’ decision to bring the two-year pro to Brooklyn in exchange for their 2020 first-round selection.