NBA free agency is in full swing, and a seismic shift is about to happen. Brooklyn Nets superstar forward Kevin Durant reportedly requested a trade Thursday after three seasons with the team.
The Nets added both Durant and guard Kyrie Irving in 2019, but the group failed to find playoff success.
Pick Up The Phone
Kevin Durant’s name on the trade block has already drawn considerable interest from most of the NBA. The Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat are rumored to be Durant’s preferred destinations, but Nets general manager Sean Marks is expected to seek the best return possible for the 33-year-old forward.
To absorb Durant’s large contract, Miami would likely have to deal one of its star players. Reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro should be expected to be part of any deal including the Heat.
The Phoenix Suns would also find it difficult to create the cap space necessary to pull off a deal for Durant. It could be done, but general manager James Jones would need to put on his best haggling shoes. Suns center Deandre Ayton has been the subject of trade rumors for months. The Suns also owe star guard Chris Paul $28,400,000 in 2022-23. In addition, star guard Devin Booker recently signed a supermax deal, which will pay him $224 million over 4 years.
The Boring Option
Kevin Durant, a former Texas Longhorn, could be nearing a return to the Lone Star State. The San Antonio Spurs recently traded all-star guard Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks for an impressive draft pick haul. The team’s highest earner after Murray’s exit is Doug McDermott, who will make $13,750,000 in 2022-23.
Sean Marks, Brooklyn’s general manager, won a championship as a player with San Antonio in 2005 before adding another as an assistant coach in 2014. After taking three players in the first round of this year’s NBA draft, the Spurs are sitting idle with lots of draft picks. Danilo Gallinari, who the team will reportedly waive, is the only player on the team’s roster who is older than 30.
Durant played with Spurs forward Keldon Johnson for Gregg Popovich’s gold medal winning Olympic team last summer. Despite the team’s “boring” reputation, it may be the only team that is willing and able to offer appropriate compensation.
Three years ago Kevin Durant broke down his high school tape.
Now Keldon Johnson is helping Team USA prepare for the Olympics. pic.twitter.com/BC8nJAvKgd
— Noah Magaro-George (@N_Magaro) July 1, 2021