Insider Drops Truth Bomb About Potential Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard Union

Getty Team USA stars Damian Lillard and Kevin Durant are trying to lead the Americans to a gold medal this summer.

All-NBA forward Kevin Durant has not had the smoothest time during his Brooklyn Nets tenure.

He came to Brooklyn knowing he would be out for an extended period after tearing his Achilles in the 2019 Finals. When Durant finally returned, injuries to Kyrie Irving and James Harden foiled their plans of winning the title in 2021. This year Kyrie’s absence, along with the James Harden trade, had the Nets at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.

All of the aforementioned unfortunate events have led to Durant making his trade request to the Nets this offseason. The Nets have agreed to honor his request, but not without stipulation. The team affirms they will not trade Durant unless the offer they receive is substantial. 

Dave Deckard of SB Nation notes that the Portland Trail Blazers have the assets to offer the Nets a coop of young players. However, he still doesn’t believe it will be significant enough to land the 12-time All-Star.

“I don’t believe Anfernee Simons, Shaedon Sharpe, Nassir Little, Keon Johnson, and a draft pick would pry Durant from Brooklyn. Even if they liked the package of young players—which they might not—they’re going to want three first-round picks and two pick exchanges, minimum, to get that deal done,” Deckard writes.

“Simons might interest them, but everyone else in that group is speculative. Their security against ending up with a single shooting guard in exchange for a perpetual All-Star would be stockpiling those picks for further use or trade.”

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Deckard: Blazers Trading for Durant ‘Too Great’ of a Risk

When Durant made his trade request public on June 30, most expected teams to be salivating at the prospect of landing him as he is one of the best players in the NBA. But the Nets asking price for Durant is gargantuan, and with KD entering the latter years of his career, teams are being cautious with how many assets they surrender to Brooklyn in a potential deal.

Deckard believes that for the Blazers, parting ways with such a substantial amount of assets to land Durant is too big of a risk to take.

“I believe Durant will be healthier this season, but nobody plays 82 games anymore. He might not average 60 over the remainder of his contract. 

With the Blazers trading away all their depth in the deal to get him, they can’t absorb a mid-30s Durant and still stay whole. If he were 29, they’d do this deal all day. It’d even make sense if he were 32, maybe. Right now, at that price, it doesn’t,” Deckard added.

“You’ve got a trade here where the talent is too sparse for Brooklyn to accept and the risk too great for Portland to accept. On paper, you’d probably call this a good move for the Blazers, but in context, they’d probably end up without a title and without any future growth prospects at the end of Durant’s tenure.”

Damian Lillard Comes to Nets’ Defense

During the Durant and Kyrie Irving era, the Nets have had several All-Stars appear on the team’s roster. LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Kyrie , James Harden, Durant, and Ben Simmons have all been Nets at some point since 2019.

However, many people were opposed to what the Nets are doing including Hall of Famer Julius Irving, who claims that the Nets are trying to buy a championship.

“It’s reminiscent of how the Yankees used to do it all the time. They load up – they call it ‘buying a championship.’ The Lakers are known for doing that too.],” Dr. J said of the Nets in 2021 via NBC Sports.

Lillard had a strong response to the Hall of Famer.

“I think that’s just the era that we are in. A lot of the media outlets are to blame for that,” the All-Star said During a 2021 appearance on ESPN’s Jalen and Jacoby (H/T Landon Buford)

“We talk about the guys that don’t win a ring. Look how they talk about Charles Barkley.”

With Durant scheduled to meet with Nets owner Joe Tsai, it will be interesting to see if a reconciliation is on the horizon.

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