Brooklyn Nets All-Star forward Kevin Durant shook up the NBA when he requested a trade from the team just before the opening of free agency. Durant, a 12-time All-Star and two-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award winner, was expected to be one of the most coveted trade assets the NBA has ever seen.
But Durant is entering the wrong side of his 30s. And injuries have allowed him to suit up for just 92 games for the Nets in the last two seasons. He also missed his entire first season in Brooklyn with a near career-ending Achilles tendon rupture that he suffered in the 2019 NBA Finals.
Durant’s availability has been sporadic, which has made teams further analyze how much they should give up for the Nets star in a potential trade. According to Jake L. Fischer of “Bleacher Report” One of Durant’s preferred destinations, the Miami Heat, has moved on from trying to acquire him. They have now focused their attention on Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell, who has also been made available for trade.
“RJ Barrett and Tyler Herro are the two extension-eligible 2019 first-rounders whose futures seem tied to the outcomes of the Durant and Mitchell trade sweepstakes,” Fischer Writes.
“The Miami Heat remain focused on acquiring one of those aforementioned All-Stars, and multiple sources with knowledge of the situation told [Bleacher Report] that Miami has prioritized pursuing Durant over Mitchell.”
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Fischer: Herro to Be Included in Any Heat Trade
Nets owner Joe Tsai and general manager Sean Marks made it abundantly clear that they had no plans to trade Durant for cheap. If they were going to move their franchise player, it would have to be for a substantial return, because their priority had become protecting the future of the franchise.
Fischer notes that any deal between the Nets and Heat, would have to include Miami’s reigning Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro.
“Either megadeal would almost certainly have to include Herro, the Heat’s best young player, which naturally brings the third-year Kentucky product’s extension conversations into question. The same goes for Barrett’s potential inclusion in a New York package for Mitchell,” Fischer added.
Nets Want ‘Blue Chipper’ in Potential Durant Deal
NBA insider Marc Stein also confirmed that the Nets have taken a strong stance on potential trades for their franchise star. Reporting that Brooklyn won’t entertain any trade conversations for Durant unless a ‘blue chipper’ is involved.
“The Nets, as we’ve been saying, don’t have to proceed as fast as the basketball world wants — not with Durant under contract for the next four seasons,” Stein said per his Substack account on July 6.
“Brooklyn privately maintains that it won’t trade Durant unless it gets a package in return that starts with a blue-chipper like New Orleans’ Brandon Ingram or Toronto’s Scottie Barnes … along with lots more attached to a theoretical deal than the absolute hauls San Antonio and Utah received in exchange for Murray and Gobert.”
As we inch closer to the opening of NBA training camp, a deal for Durant doesn’t seem to be close. It is becoming increasingly evident that he may be on Brooklyn’s roster next season.