This week the August 8 reporting from Shams Charania of The Athletic shocked the basketball world with the news that the superstar presented Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai with an ultimatum in their meeting over the weekend. However, another shocking news piece came when the Philadelphia 76ers were named as a potential trade partner reuniting him once again with James Harden.
Durant to Philadelphia Reports
On August 10, Ian Begley reported that Durant has Philadelphia at the top of his list of suitors “Durant also sees Philadelphia as another welcome landing spot, per people familiar with the matter,” Begley wrote.
Reports on August 12, Sports Illustrated shared that there were “high-ranking members of the Sixers” that are interested in discussing a deal with the Nets for Kevin Durant.
However, recently ESPN’s Front Office Insider, Bobby Marks, discussed why the deal might not be able to happen from a salary perspective.
Marks: Durant and Philadelphia Deal ‘Doesn’t Make Sense at all’
As far as the other suitors for Durant, Philadelphia doesn’t have quite the trade package to send Brooklyn as the others. Sure, they could include Tyrese Maxey, but that doesn’t meet their All-Star expectations. Bobby Marks talked about the Sixers’ lack of assets to include in a Durant deal.
“When you look at certainly with Philadelphia and certainly Brooklyn here, it’s going to be a challenge, right? Certainly, we’re talking about Kevin Durant here when we look at it from Brooklyn’s perspective, but when you’re looking at it from Philadelphia, basically the only player from a salary standpoint is a player like Tobias Harris, so when you look at Harris, and certainly players like as Matt said, Tyrese Maxey, Matisse Thybulle, you’re limited as far as what you’re going to be able to trade out. You’re not going to trade out, certainly, James Harden can’t be traded until December. You’re not going to trade Joel Embiid here. Remember, they’ve already traded Brooklyn two first round picks, 2023 and 2027. They owe Oklahoma City a first in 2025. So when you look at it, only the first that they can trade it out is 2029. And if you’re the Nets’ perspective, you have their picks already,” Marks said.
Marks also noted that Brooklyn is already in possession of Philadelphia’s draft picks, which may hurt the deal’s potential assets-wise, and to avoid making the Sixers better and hurting their future picks.
“So, are you going to make this team a lot better? So when maybe that pick turns into the early 20s, now it’s going to be the 28th or 29th pick in the draft. So the pieces are there certainly when you look at Harris and Maxey and Thybulle for Durant, but from a draft pick perspective, it doesn’t make sense. If you’re going to trade Kevin Durant to a team in your conference. You want Jaylen Brown back, right? That’s the guy that you want back in a deal and you want draft picks. This for me, doesn’t make sense at all, “Marks continued.
Perhaps Durant’s ultimatum works in accelerating a trade for him, but it doesn’t look like the 76ers could be the best fit in a trade for the Brooklyn superstar.