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NBA executive says Brooklyn Nets deserve ‘James Harden type of package’ in a Kevin Durant trade

Jason Burgos

Many executives around the NBA expect the Brooklyn Nets to get a major return in any Kevin Durant trade, and one general manager says a haul should look similar to the one they sent the Houston Rockets when they acquired James Harden in 2021.

What happens with Kevin Durant next is the biggest story in the NBA right now. Everything is a far second. Trading arguably the best player in the NBA during the offseason has a legitimate ripple effect. It is a deal that has such wide-ranging influence that it has even had an effect on the free-agent market. Slowing the chances for many players to sign with new teams or return to their current squads on long-term deals.

Related: Kevin Durant has Phoenix Suns atop his wish list with Miami Heat close behind

However, there does not seem to be much movement on a possible Durant deal. The most recent reporting claims the 12-time All-Star prefers to land in Phoenix or Miami, but neither team seems to have the type of assets the Nets are looking for. And there were reports last weekend that suggested a resolution may not come until training camp in the fall.

Can the Brooklyn Nets recoup what they lost in the 2021 James Harden trade?

brooklyn nets, kevin durant
Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The trade that sent Rudy Gobert from the Utah Jazz to the Minnesota Timberwolves for several players and four first-round picks set the early bar of what would be necessary for a swap of an All-Star talent. With Durant being several levels above Gobert in value it has made many wonder what the Nets asking price could be.

On Tuesday, Hoops Hype claimed that the Nets are “seeking a combination of the best assets from teams, including any All-Star player(s), rising young players with All-Star potential and substantial unprotected draft picks and pick swaps.” The outlet was also told by a general manager in the league that “Durant is worth a James Harden type of package.”

If you don’t remember what the Nets sent to Houston in their 2021 trade to land James Harden, well it was massive. Brooklyn shipped Jarrett Allen, Caris LeVert, Rodions Kurucs, three first-round draft picks (2022, 2024, 2026), and four first-round pick swaps every other year from 2021 to 2027 to Houston directly. They also sent Taurean Prince to Cleveland and had the Cavaliers give the Rockets guard Dante Exum, and a 2022 first-round draft pick.

It would make sense if the Nets can land a similar return for a player that is arguably better right now than Harden was in 2021. Furthermore, with the team’s Durant-Kyrie Irving-Harden strategy ending disastrously, they need to try and regain what they lost in the Harden deal.