Kevin Durant's trade request was the sort of "test" the Brooklyn Nets needed to bond and get better, according to Kyrie Irving.

The Nets will begin their 2022-23 season on Wednesday against the New Orleans Pelicans after a topsy-turvy offseason.

Both Durant and Irving are set to be in the Brooklyn line-up, despite the pair appearing to be on their way out when the 2014 MVP asked for a trade.

A deal with the Nets proved difficult to do, as Durant has four years remaining on his contract, meaning the team asked for a huge price in talks.

It was then reported Durant had returned to the Nets but promised to stay only if head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks were replaced.

Eventually, a statement from Marks said Durant had "agreed to move forward with our partnership" regardless.

That might not seem ideal preparation for the season, but Irving suggested the saga had actually brought the Nets closer.

"When Kev made that request, I feel like we got better," he told Stadium. "Afterwards, not initially. Now, where we are now, I feel like we can honestly say we got better.

"We know the principles that are needed for success, but without going through some tests in the summer time or during the season, we wouldn't be able to be as close and bonded as we are now."

Irving added: "[Durant] is one of the greatest to ever do it, and he wants his chance to win. Give him his request.

"But other than that, I think he believes not only in me but in himself."