It has been over a month since Kevin Durant shocked the NBA world with his trade request to the Brooklyn Nets. It was shortly after Kyrie Irving opted into the final year of his contract in Brooklyn, and all signs were the Nets would run it back with the addition of a healthy Ben Simmons. Then, Durant made his request to team owner Joe Tsai, and nothing has been the same since. KD listed two teams at the top of his desired list to be traded to, and it was the Phoenix Suns and the Miami Heat.
So far, no real traction has been made in Durant discussions. The Heat likely don’t have enough valuable players, or good enough draft picks to meet Brooklyn’s historically high expectations. After Phoenix matched the historic offer sheet that the Indiana Pacers signed Deandre Ayton to it cut him out of any trade talks at least for the time being.
Where do other NBA teams stand in their pursuit to get a deal for Durant done with the Nets? In a recent column by Zach Harper of The Athletic, he mentioned some of the other interesting teams looking to acquire Durant following his request.
Memphis Grizzlies Remain Possibility in Durant Deals
Soon after Durant’s trade request, one interested team was the Memphis Grizzlies to add a star with Ja Morant. Harper notes that with Jaren Jackson Jr. being on the injury report that it could affect the deal.
“This looked better before we found out Jaren Jackson Jr. is out for months. Now, he’s not an All-Star, but he has that potential along with being one of the best defensive big men in the NBA,” Harper writes.
However, the Nets acquired Durant when he was injured could they still deal for Jackson Jr.? The Grizzlies big man had a strong year and found himself leading the league in blocks and was also named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team. An impressive recognition for the fourth-year pro. Memphis also possesses all of their first round picks that could be leveraged into the Durant discussions.
A Previous Proposed Grizzlies Trade
On June 30, just after Durant’s proposal Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic shared a possible proposal the Grizzlies could offer for Durant.
Brooklyn Nets Receive: Jaren Jackson Jr., Dillon Brooks, Ziarie Williams (the 10th pick of the 2021 draft), and a slew of draft picks, which the Grizzlies have a lot of to offer.
Memphis Grizzlies Receive: Kevin Durant
Again, Jackson’s injury could prevent the Nets from dealing for the Grizzlies impressive young big man. They could try to put a package together with Steven Adams and throw in Desmond Bane, which the franchise remains hesitant to do with the great fit he is playing next to Morant.
Memphis has more draft picks than most other suitors when discussing trade proposals. If the Nets are prioritizing draft picks, this could be a destination for Durant. However, the Nets pursuit of an All-Star caliber player and solid role players around him remain a hold-up for this deal.