The entire NBA landscape seems to be awaiting to see how the Brooklyn Nets choose to handle Kevin Durant’s trade request. Understandably, it’s not easy trading away a 12-time NBA All-Star, so they want to navigate this one carefully. Not to mention, they are also likely working to place Durant in another competitive situation, where the two-time NBA Champ has a chance to win another ring.
Of course, not every team has a viable trade offer they can put together for a player of Durant’s caliber, and not every team is in position to win.
As you can see, it’s a complicated process. But Durant himself reportedly has a trade wish list, consisting of teams he’d prefer to land with.
Kevin Durant hoping to land with Phoenix Suns or Miami Heat
According to Jake Fischer on his latest ‘Please Don’t Aggregate This‘ podcast, Durant’s top team he’d like to be traded to is the Phoenix Suns. But the Miami Heat narrowly in second place, meaning Durant would likely be just as happy in South Beach with Jimmy Butler.
While both the Suns and Heat have a plethora of trade assets that could theoretically be offered, a trade with the Suns is a bit trickier.
Due to NBA rules, a team isn’t allowed to have two max-level contract players they’ve traded for. In this case, the Nets already have Ben Simmons, meaning Deandre Ayton cannot sign a max contract and then be traded to the Nets, unless Simmons departs.
Of course, Ayton might not land a max deal, so this point could be moot. But chances are, Ayton would be included in a Durant trade, since he’s the most valuable asset the Suns are willing to part with, and technically, he’s not even under contract meaning he’s set to leave anyway. If the Suns can manage to deal with Ayton leaving by getting Durant in return, they’ll have pulled off the offseason move of the century, being that Ayton was always likely headed elsewhere.
For the Heat, they also have two All-Stars with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, only they’re both likely off the trade table. This leaves their top trade asset as Tyler Herro, who could very well develop into an All-Star talent, but that’s not guaranteed. For now, he’s the top sixth-man in the NBA, with high-end starter potential.
So from everyone’s perspective (aside from the Heat), a Kevin Durant trade to the Phoenix Suns continues to make the most sense. But that doesn’t mean it will actually happen any time soon.