Mon. Sep 26th, 2022

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The Brooklyn Nets are no closer to trading superstar Kevin Durant, but the number of inquiring teams appears to be growing. When Durant made his trade request hours before the start of NBA free agency on June 30, his two preferred destinations were the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat. Both teams face obstacles to land the two-time champion. The Suns can’t include Deandre Ayton in a deal until January, and the Heat can’t send Bam Adebayo to Brooklyn because of the Designated Rookie rule.

The teams that are considered “serious threats” to land Durant are the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and the Heat, per Shams Charania. The Celtics offered a trade package of Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and a first-round draft pick to Brooklyn back in July, but clearly Brooklyn is looking for a more significant deal. The Raptors are interested, but have refused to include reigning Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes in the deal. The Philadelphia 76ers have also shown interest, and Durant reportedly views Philly as a favorable destination. 

The list of interested teams who are capable of pulling off a deal continues to grow, and the latest franchise that has entered the Durant sweepstakes is the Memphis Grizzlies, who have made “new inquiries” about the superstar forward, per Charania. Memphis makes sense as a trade partner for the Nets, as the team has a wealth of young, talented players Brooklyn could build around. However, Charania reports that the Grizzlies right now are not willing to part ways with Jaren Jackson Jr. or Desmond Bane, and would rather center a trade package around draft picks. Memphis can offer up to five first-round picks, four of which are unprotected, and still include players like Brandon Clarke and Ziaire Williams.

But we already know that the Nets don’t want a trade package centered around just quality role players and a bevy of picks. It was reported that when the Nets and Suns were discussing trade packages that Brooklyn said any deal with Phoenix would have to start with Devin Booker. Brooklyn has maintained that it wants to be competitive this season, and the asking price for Durant has been All-Star talent, quality role players and draft picks, per Charania. If that’s the barometer for the Nets, then it sounds as though Memphis would have to include Jackson Jr. to move the needle at all, and that’s assuming Brooklyn values Jackson Jr. that highly to be OK with him being the centerpiece of a trade.

There’s about a month until training camp, and as that date nears teams could start to soften their stance on certain players in order to land Durant. But for right now, it sounds as though teams are still playing hardball with Brooklyn.  





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