Houston Rockets blockbuster Kevin Durant trade rumors heat up as NBA offseason tips off

Kevin Durant
Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest news out of the NBA on Tuesday delivered the Mikal Bridges trade to the New York Knicks, but shortly after that deal was completed, the Houston Rockets executed a flurry of moves involving future first-round draft picks, possibly in an attempt to later land Kevin Durant.

Oddly enough, the Rockets didn’t receive a single player or send any of their players to other teams; they merely exchanged draft compensation.

In doing so, they completed three different trades, getting Phoenix’s 2027 first-round pick, swap rights for the better of Houston/OKC’s 2025 first-round pick, and the more favorable pick between Dallas and Phoenix’s first-round selection in 2029, plus another pick swap with the Mavericks.

It’s a lot of mumbo jumbo, but why? What are the Rockets planning?

According to ESPN’s NBA insider Brian Windhorst, the Rockets are indeed planning to put the full-court press on the Suns, in pursuit of a Durant trade. And he suggests Houston’s not just out here blowing smoke, there’s a legitimate connection.

“[Houston Rockets] made this trade specifically to attempt to make a deal with the Suns. They did it to make a deal with the Suns NOW. To my knowledge, Kevin Durant has not asked for a trade. However, there are definite connections between Kevin Durant and the Houston Rockets.”

Brian Windhorst on Houston Rockets Kevin Durant trade rumors

After improving their win total by 19 victories from 2023 to 2024 while under the tutelage of Ime Udoka, now the Rockets appear to be positioning themselves for a major swing at becoming a true contender in the Western Conference.

Yet, as Windhorst notes, Durant isn’t exactly asking for a ticket out of Phoenix, so it will be fascinating to see if Houston’s moves work out in their favor. But they’re at least trying to bring Durant back to the state of Texas.

Related: NBA insider: New York Knicks ‘increasingly unlikely’ to re-sign fan favorite emerging star

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