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Why the Washington Wizards should make an all-out push for Kevin Durant

Vincent Frank

The Washington Wizards locked in on one goal this summer. That was to retain franchise cornerstone Bradley Beal. Once the dust settled on that, Beal had received the richest contract in NBA history while earning a rare no-trade clause.

For president and general manager Tommy Sheppard, re-signing Beal proved to be a boon. It’s now time for the long-downtrodden organization to use this new-found momentum as a way to add another core piece to the mix.

It’s our humble opinion that said player should be someone by the name of D.C. native Kevin Durant. You might have heard of him.

KD has requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets and could be on the move this summer. Why wouldn’t Washington want to get involved in the sweepstakes? The two-time NBA Finals MVP is a legend in the Beltway. He’s often talked about how growing up in Prince George’s County, Maryland, shaped his life.

Durant likely wouldn’t push back againt heading to the Wizards with the Phoenix Suns now potentially out of the sweepstakes. Here’s why it makes perfect sense for Washington to go all out in its pursuit of Durant.

Related: The time is now for the Washington Wizards to reward Bradley Beal’s loyalty

Bradley Beal deserves that second star with the Washington Wizards

Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Beal has shown a sense of loyalty to an organization that has failed to create the necessary supporting cast for a championship contender.

This loyalty should force Washington’s hands. Simply put, Beal deserves to have an elite supporting cast around him after the Wizards wasted away the initial stages of his prime.

Since Beal entered the NBA as a No. 3 pick back in 2012, Washington has made it to the Eastern Conference Semifinals three times. It has not advanced past the first round since 2016-17 and is coming off an ugly 47-loss season with Beal sidelined for all but 40 games. Adding KD to the mix would change the dynamics in a big way.

Related: Washington Wizards standing in our most-recent NBA power rankings

Kevin Durant is the perfect fit for the Washington Wizards

NBA: Washington Wizards at Brooklyn Nets
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Durant can play both the three and the four, enabling him to fit in perfectly in Washington’s frontcourt. He’d certainly be a marked upgrade over both Kyle Kuzma and Rui Hachimura. He’d also fit in well with recently-acquired wing Will Barton and starting center Kristaps Porzingis.

Kevin Durant stats (2021-22): 29.9 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 6.4 APG, 52% shooting, 38% 3-point

Despite some injury issues, Durant is still a walking bucket. The dude was dominant in the 55 games he played for an otherwise pedestrian Nets squad.

Imagine what Durant would do with another 30-point per game scorer in Beal. We’d be talking about pretty much the best scoring tandem in the league. That’s not hyperbole.

Washington Wizards have the assets to pull off a Kevin Durant trade

Washington would likely have to get a third team involved in order to acquire Durant. Brooklyn’s asking price is said to be at least two All-Star caliber players and multiple first-rund picks. Washington has the picks. It doesn’t have an All-Ster caliber player outside of Beal himself.

With that said, these Wizards do have a number of talented young players that could be sent to a third team in a broader Durant trade. That includes rookie Johnny Davis as well as youngsters Corey Kispert, Deni Avdija and Rui Hachimura. Meanwhile, Kyle Kuzma is a net positive on the trade market should Washington go in that direction.

It’s purely hypothetical, but the Utah Jazz could get involved. They have Donovan Mitchell on the trade block. Brooklyn has shown interest in the star guard. It could also send Ben Simmons out of the Big Apple and to Utah while the Nets and Jazz split the first-round picks Washington would have to give up.

Either way, it’s now time for the Washington Wizards to do what they can to build a contender for Beal. Durant would provide that in more ways than one, creating a homecoming of sorts in the process.