In a sudden turn of events, nearly three years since joining the Brooklyn Nets, the superstar forward Kevin Durant now wants out. According to reports, Durant had already requested to be traded to a contender. He specifically picked Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns – both the top seeds in the East and West last season – to be his preferred teams this offseason. The Nets organization is in a tough spot, but, if KD wants to leave, how can they maximize their biggest asset? Which team could be the best landing spot for Durant?
After this controversial announcement, Kevin Durant becomes the biggest fish in the market. KD tops all of the biggest names in the free agency, and now, he wants to move on from the Nets. Brooklyn Nets’ owner, Joe Tsai, had had enough of the Irving-Durant and Harden-Simmons saga. Maybe it is high time that the team moves past the botched project, and could capitalize on this loss to rebuild.
Best Landing Spots for Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant has specifically included in his request that wants to form a championship contender team. As the top seed in the West in the last season, the Suns’ core was looking bright until they choked in the 2nd round in the 2022 Playoffs. Chris Paul has proved to be an excellent point guard and a great veteran presence. On the other hand, although Devin Booker is a real stud, he tends to not show up during big moments. As such, the Suns could be looking to add another star to their roster and with the availability of Durant in the market, they have all of the assets to offer to Brooklyn in exchange for one of the purest scoring machines in the game.
Meanwhile, the relationship between Ayton and the Suns’ organization is growing bitter by the moment. They haven’t offered DeAndre Ayton a max contract yet and it is still unlikely they’ll do so in the future. In mock trades, the KD trade offer revolves around the DeAndre Ayton package. Moreover, they also have the defensive specialist Mikal Bridges in the talks as well as some future first-round picks.
Even if Brooklyn Nets wanted Devin Booker to be included in the package, it still wouldn’t be legal since Ben Simmons is still in the Nets. According to an NBA rule, a team cannot acquire two players (who both had max rookie extensions) through trade. In this scenario, we are looking at both Simmons and Booker.
Nets receive: DeAndre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, Three future first-round picks added with pick swaps
Suns receive: Kevin Durant
As stated, KD told the Nets front office he wants to be traded to Miami or Phoenix and wants to play with either each team’s stars – Jimmy Butler or Devin Booker. Throughout his career, KD is akin to playing in a team filled with superstars (Thunder, Warriors, and the Nets).
Even though the Heat had a great run in the Playoffs, the team still did not look championship-worthy. Aside from Butler, everyone on the roster seems to be inconsistent most of the time. If this trade pulls through, Miami Heat could introduce another big three since the LeBron-Wade-Bosh trio – and that is the Durant-Butler-Adebayo team-up.
Specifically, the Heat cannot give up either Butler or Adebayo since KD wants to play alongside superstars en route to a championship. Since that would be the case, they have to look into other players to include in the package as well as a lot of draft picks.
Nets receive: Tyler Herro, Kyle Lowry, Rookie Nikola Jovic, Three First Round Picks plus Three Future First-Round Pick Swaps
Heat receive: Kevin Durant
The Jayson Tatum-led Boston Celtics came up short last playoffs to win the 2022 NBA Championship against the Golden State Warriors. This cast is already perfect. They are young, talented, skilled, and have the drive to win it all in the coming years.
The Celtics project is doing very well and the Tatum-Brown duo has a lot of things to offer. Now, the Celtics have the capability and cap space to add Durant to their roster. But, at what cost? First, they’re going to have to get rid of Jaylen Brown and the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Marcus Smart, which by our standards, is already a huge loss for the Celtics. But, wait, even that is not enough for a Durant trade package. Remember when the Nets front office wanted two all-star calibers in exchange for KD? Well, Brown and Smart aren’t all-stars, but they are nearing that category, especially Jaylen Brown. But, in the eyes of GMs and executives, that is not enough. To complete the offer, Boston must include another good role player with a high stock price including some first-round picks.
We know the C’s wants to run it back after failing to capture the NBA championship. If that’s the case, trading for Durant could be a huge boost to their offensive power but will have to sacrifice a lot of great young assets in return.
Nets receive: Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Grant Williams, and 2 first-round picks
Celtics receive: Kevin Durant
Although KD in a Raptors jersey seems a bit odd and looks to have the lowest odds of landing Durant, it still is not that impossible.
To get KD, they’ll have to give up either Anunoby or Siakam including the reigning Rookie of the Year, Scottie Barnes, plus some picks. However, it still wouldn’t be enough, and Toronto might be in for a deep dive. But, Raptors’ CEO, Masai Ujiri has told the media that it would be better to be patient with a very talented young group of guys. The chances that they are going to land KD next season is pretty slim, so, Raptors fans might just have to take this with a grain of salt.
Nets receive: OG Anunoby (or Pascal Siakam), Gary Trent Jr., and four future first-round picks, plus cash
Raptors receive: Kevin Durant
If I were the Grizzlies front office, I would think not just twice, not thrice, but a million times before breaking up the young core of Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks, and Jaren Jackson Jr. They are probably the best young core in this group. Plus, even with a group of very young guys, they managed to reach the 2nd round in the last Playoffs and even faired well against the Golden State Warriors.
In exchange for a chance at a KD-Morant duo, Memphis must give away their defensive stopper, Jalen Jackson Jr., and two legit scorers in Desmond Band and/or Dillon Brooks plus some picks. Now, that is a hefty price for an aging Durant who may have some years left ahead of him. Would they want to waste a handful of high-potential rising stars in exchange for a 32-year-old superstar who had issues with his previous teams? We are certainly hoping they won’t make that mistake.
Kevin Durant is one of the greatest players in history, we’ll give you that. But, with his recent actions, it’s safe to say he is not the best guy to be added to a very young roster. It would also be a waste of time let Durant shine in Memphis instead of Ja Morant.
Nets receive: Jaren Jackson Jr., Dillon Brooks, Ziaire Williams, Four Future First-Round Picks
Grizzlies receive: Kevin Durant
Los Angeles Lakers
There have been talks of a straight-up swap between Anthony Davis and Kevin Durant. Heck, there have even been rumors about a Kyrie and LeBron reunion in Los Angeles. Although the Lakers can do this, they’re going to trade away two of their stars (Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook) in exchange for KD and Kyrie. Well, we all know Durant is slightly better than AD, and Kyrie is also more talented than Westbrook and is also much cheaper. However, this is going to stir a lot of issues in the league. It is going to break the league, to say the least.
If this thing does happen, are we going to see a Durant-Kyrie-LeBron big three in Hollywood? All of this, just to stop Steph Curry. Now, that is insane.
Nets receive: Anthony Davis
Lakers receive: Kevin Durant
Nets receive: Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Austin Reaves, plus two future first-round picks
Lakers receive: Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving
Which team do you think will we see Kevin Durant play for this season? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. For more content, stay with us, here at Spiel Times.
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