Per ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski, Kevin Durant has officially requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. Durant will be entering the first year of a 4-year/ $198 million contract at the start of next season. So the lucky winner of the sweepstakes for the Nets star will be getting him with the guarantee of his services likely for the remainder of his prime. Wojnarowski says that the Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns have emerged as teams who will pursue the All-Star forward in a trade.
“Phoenix and Miami are among two of the teams that Kevin Durant has on his wish list, sources tell ESPN, but the Nets plan to move Durant where they can get the best possible deal. With four years on his contract, there’s no shortage of teams willing to unload assets for Durant,” Wojnarowski said per his Twitter account on June 29.
However, Jake L. Fischer of “Bleacher Report” says that for the Suns to land Durant in the pending monumental trade, they would have to part ways with their All-Star guard Devin Booker.
“From Brooklyn’s perspective, sources said, there’s no deal to land Durant in Phoenix that doesn’t start with sending back Devin Booker to Barclays Center,” Fischer writes per “Bleacher Report”.
“The Suns, of course, would likely hold the line firm. But early indications are the Nets brass is not particularly inclined to take a sign-and-trade that brings back restricted free agent Deandre Ayton”
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Nets Still Want to Contend for NBA Title
With the Durant sweepstakes underway, every team in the league will be salivating at the opportunity to land one of the NBA’s best talents. But Fisher notes that Nets owner Joe Tsai and general manager Sean Marks are not viewing Durant’s preferences for a new destination as a priority. Their goal is to get the best return possible for him in a trade, with their eyes still on bringing a title to Brooklyn.
“The Nets won’t be required to acquiesce to Durant’s desired landing spots, either. They will listen across the league, and Brooklyn will assuredly look for one of the largest compensation packages for a superstar in NBA history,” Fischer writes. “And, as sources told B/R, the Nets will continue to conduct business with a goal of contending for a championship.”
Kyrie Trade to Lakers Still on the Table
Things seemed to be back on track in Brooklyn when Kyrie Irving opted into the final year of his deal on June 28. But with Durant’s bombshell trade request hours before the opening of NBA free agency, it appears that the end of an era could be near. Fischer adds that with KD’s exit looming, Irving may not be far behind, and the Los Angeles Lakers could be a potential suitor.
“Despite Irving’s recommitment to Brooklyn, league sources continued to whisper about Irving’s mutual desire to reunite with LeBron James in Los Angeles this week,” Fischer writes.
“For that to happen anytime soon, the Lakers would likely need to find a third or even fourth team that would be willing to absorb Russell Westbrook’s $47.1 million salary and still find players to compensate Brooklyn for Irving.”
Buckle up Nets, fans this free agency period is about to be a wild ride.