It’s looking more and more like we’re going to have to wait some time for a Kevin Durant trade from the Brooklyn Nets.
The two-time NBA Finals MVP requested to be moved back on June 30 as Brooklyn attempts to figure out what to do after a disappointing 2021-22 season.
Right now, the asking price in any potential Durant trade seems to be a non-starter for interested teams. Meanwhile, a number of contenders have been linked to Durant with the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat being seen as his two preferred landing spots.
From Brooklyn’s perspective, it makes some sense to wait and see if Durant rescinds said trade request. He’s under contract for four more years, leading to the Nets boasting an advantage in trade talks with other teams. A recent revelation that fellow Nets star Kyrie Irving would like to return to the Big Apple adds another layer to the dynamics here.
With rumors flying left and right, let’s check in on that latest Durant information around the NBA water cooler.
Related: Ideal Kevin Durant trade scenarios
Miami Heat remain steadfast in pursuing Kevin Durant trade
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported recently that Miami has been among the most aggressive teams in pursuing a Durant trade. The powers that be within the Nets and Heat organizations apparently held a meeting during NBA Summer League action in Las Vegas earlier this week.
Miami has yet to offer up star center Bam Adebayo in trade talks with Brooklyn. Adebayo also couldn’t head to the Nets in a two-team swap due to NBA rules prohibiting teams from having two rookie-level max players on their roster that they didn’t originally draft. Yeah, it’s complicated.
Instead, Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson would likely be the bigger names headed to Brooklyn. Kyle Lowry would also have to be involved for salary cap purposes. As Sportsnaut noted recently, Miami would likely have to get a third or fourth team involved.
What we do know is that front office head Pat Riley has been aggressive in attempting to find a third star to team up with Jimmy Butler. That includes both Irving and Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell.
Golden State Warriors continue to be linked to Kevin Durant trade
On the surface, this doesn’t seem to make too much sense. Golden State is coming off its fourth NBA title in eight years. It has a solid young core group consisting of Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody and James Wiseman behind the big three. Why mortgage the future for a soon-to-be 34-year-old forward with recent injury concerns?
Even then, we’re hearing multiple reports that Golden State’s big three has actually had conversations with Durant about a reunion after a three-year hiatus. Meanwhile, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reports that it’s at least an internal discussion for the Warriors.
Even if the Warriors were willing to meet Brooklyn’s asking price (they might not be) in a Durant trade, the stars would have to align here. That includes finding a third team to take on Andrew Wiggins. The same rules apply to Wiggins as the aforementioned Adebayo.
Fox Sports’ Ric Bucher reports that Curry has called Durant multiple times in an attempt to recruit his former teammate back to San Francisco. Whether this is a possibility considering the obstacles remains to be seen. But it still seems to be a pipe dream.
Brooklyn Nets asking price in Kevin Durant trade
Brooklyn is said to be asking for multiple All-Star players, several draft picks and pick swaps. In short, a bounty much larger than what it took the Minnesota Timberwolves to acquire Rudy Gobert from the Utah Jazz.
Said deal included Minnesota sending four first-round picks (three unprotected), multiple pick swaps and five players to Utah. This would seemingly limit the numbers of teams being able to pry KD from the Nets.
This makes it difficult for organizations to put together a package for Durant in a two-team swap. Miami is not offering up Bam Adebayo and couldn’t send him to Brooklyn short of the Nets trading Ben Simmons.
Andrew Wiggins was an All-Star with the Warriors this past season. He, too, can’t be moved to the Nets in a two-team swap. That doesn’t even take into account other teams linked to Durant.
- Phoenix Suns: One of the teams favored to land Durant in a trade, it appears that the Nets are not thrilled with Phoenix’ offer. It presumably includes restricted free agent Deandre Ayton in a sign-and-trade as well as Cameron Johnson and Mikal Bridges. Brooklyn reportedly wants Devin Booker. That’s a non-starter.
- Toronto Raptors: A team many believed made the most sense for Durant, Toronto is not willing to offer up reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes. Instead, any package heading back to Brooklyn would include All-Star forward Pascal Siakam. Whether he would be considered a centerpicece for the Nets remains to be seen.
These are the complexities that comes with a potential Durant trade from the Nets. They are also the primary reasons and trade could very well be weeks or months down the road.