The rumors and speculation on the Miami Heat’s pursuit of Brooklyn Nets’ forward Kevin Durant have ramped up over the last few days as the NBA Summer League continues in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Here are the latest speculation, updates, and analysis on Miami’s pursuit of arguably the best player in the NBA today.
Miami Heat continues to aggressively pursue Kevin Durant
It couldn’t be more clear how the Miami Heat is aggressively pursuing Kevin Durant and it’s something unordinary out of the organization that likes to keep their potential moves under wraps.
The Heat’s pursuit of Durant is public and it shows how badly the organization wants his services. They are all-in on making the 34-year-old a member of the team and will go through every scenario to make it happen.
Whether it’s from Brooklyn’s side or not, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Heat have been one of the most aggressive teams in pursuit of Durant since trade talks started. It even went as far as Heat general manager Andy Elisburg and Nets general manager Sean Marks having an over one-hour meeting on the morning of July 11 in Las Vegas during the NBA’s Summer League.
While Miami is expected to stay in the fight until things look bleak, it still has not offered coveted forward/center Bam Adebayo in a potential trade package, which is the correct idea. The Miami Heat should not offer Adebayo until absolutely necessary and the value of Durant is likely to drop as the process plays out. Brooklyn may not have as much leverage as the clock keeps ticking.
Eventually, the Nets are going to trade Durant. It seems questionable on why Brooklyn would start the season with Durant and guard Kyrie Irving on the roster if the trade request still stands. Let’s just say Durant does play for the Nets next season but still wants a trade out of the organization. It seems irresponsible for Brooklyn to allow that to happen in case of a potential injury or slight regression.
The longer thing plays out, the more likely it is that Durant lands in Miami for that very reason. The organization clearly does not have the package to entice Brooklyn without Adebayo. However, the market needs to start moving eventually. There are too many free agents and potential moves to be made that hinge on the aftereffects of a Durant deal.
Potential Kevin Durant trade packages from Miami Heat
It’s certainly been a debate on who the Miami Heat should include in a potential package for Kevin Durant. So, let’s break down every option and be realistic.
The Heat will automatically include Tyler Herro, Kyle Lowry, Duncan Robinson, and more players in any potential deal without Bam Adebayo. Then, throw in every available pick and pick swap available. However, that’s likely not going to be enough for a classic two-team trade for Durant right now and likely at any stage of time throughout the rest of the process.
The Heat likely needs to expand the offer to three or four teams to re-route more assets to Brooklyn. It is the best deal for the Heat since other teams can outbid them if Durant has more teams on his list. The question that needs to be answered is what to do with Adebayo. It’s very complicated as there are many layers to the situation with Brooklyn.
- Kevin Durant stats (2021-2022): 29.9 PPG, 7.4 REB, 6.4 AST, 38% 3PT
Does Durant want to be in Miami without Adebayo? Is there a way to move Ben Simmons so Adebayo can legally go to Brooklyn? Can Miami build a championship team around Durant and Jimmy Butler? Most importantly, will the Heat even consider moving the main piece of their future for Durant? There is a lot to digest and break down and this is our best shot at dissecting it all.
Durant has long admired Adebayo for his work ethic after the two built a relationship during the Tokyo Olympics that began in Summer 2021 after the conclusion of the season. It’s easy to guess that Adebayo has been in Durant’s ear trying to convince him on narrowing it down to Miami. There’s no definitive answer but it seems like it would be a preference to play with him on the surface.
The other major question is whether the Heat want to even include Adebayo in a potential Durant deal. The organization hasn’t included Adebayo to this point and any way to keep him is likely preferred. However, let’s say Brooklyn receives better offers from a team like Toronto with Scottie Barnes and says, “Adebayo or no deal.” Does the Heat throw their 24-year-old future cornerpiece in a deal?
Adebayo is unlike any other player in this league. The ability to guard 1-5 is rare and overused by some analysts nowadays but Adebayo has proven to do that ranging from Stephen Curry to Giannis Antetokounmpo. There might come a point where Miami simply moves on to other options if the chance of a deal for Durant without Adebayo trickles down to zero percent.
But, this is a chance to advance the Jimmy Butler build to areas not even imaginable. Pat Riley wants one more big superstar to come to Miami so there could also be a point where Adebayo is included. It’s a very difficult decision for people on the outside but the Miami Heat’s front office knows what they want to do with the Durant deal more than anyone else.
This is a process that will likely take some time to play out and we’ll continue to provide the latest on the Miami Heat’s pursuit of Durant moving forward.