Eastern Conference Rival ‘Unlocks’ Championship Potential in Proposed Kevin Durant Blockbuster

Kevin Durant

Getty Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets

Kevin Durant, since his trade request with the Brooklyn Nets, has been pretty open with letting it be known which teams he would like to play for next. The Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, and Philadelphia 76ers are among his top desired landing spots. Durant is known to be wanting to play with Chris Paul and Devin Booker in Phoenix. He has had a long-standing respect for the Miami Heat organization. Boston would see him playing with another All-Star talent in Jayson Tatum and reunite him with Ime Udoka. Philadelphia entered the mix last week as a potential suitor last week. 

“As of earlier this week, there were high-ranking members of the Sixers who’ve felt strongly about engaging with Brooklyn on a Durant trade,” SNY’s Ian Begley reported.

Quickly it was revealed that Durant and James Harden have mended their relationship after Harden’s exit last year, and trade packages were revealed just following that. 

“The Sixers would almost certainly have to include Tyrese Maxey in a trade for Durant. Given the dynamics at play, you’d think that Tobias HarrisMatisse Thybulle, and other players/draft picks would be included,” Begley continued.

Sixers Trade For Kevin Durant

In an August 12 article from Bleacher Report, Zach Buckley shared a proposed trade that would deal Durant from the Nets to one of his desired teams in Philadelphia. The Nets don’t get an All-Star as part of the return, but they do get a rising star with Tyrese Maxey as the deals centerpiece. 

Brooklyn Nets Receive: Tobias Harris, Tyrese Maxey, Matisse Thybulle, and two future first-round picks.

Philadelphia 76ers Receive: Kevin Durant

Some would note Tobias Harris as the centerpiece of the deal right now, but Harris was often disappointing last season, and Maxey would often be the second-best player in Philly before the team traded for James Harden at the trade deadline. 

The trade, according to Buckley, would unlock championship potential for one of the teams involved. 

“Durant teaming up with James Harden for a third time would be something, considering how poorly things ended in Brooklyn, but Frank Isola reported that Durant “would like” to reunite with his former running mate. Having Durant, Harden, and Joel Embiid on the same roster feels like a cheat code. Putting them in the same closing group as P.J. Tucker and insert-fifth-Sixer here (De’Anthony Melton? Danuel House Jr?) could be the key to unlocking this team’s championship potential,” Buckley said.

Does the Trade Make Sense for Brooklyn? 

Not really. It is difficult to see how a return of Maxey, Harris, and Thybulle brings the value that a Durant trade merits. The only way that is imaginable that this gets done is if things in Brooklyn get so messy with a possible training camp hold out or the news which Durant denied resurfaced about him choosing a potential retirement over a Brooklyn Nets return. Maxey is a star on the Sixers, but he isn’t an All-Star. To trade Durant and not get a single All-Star back in return feels like an egregious failure for the generational talent that Durant is. 

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