The Miami Heat are aggressively pursuing Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant, but it’s unknown how much Pat Riley and company are willing to give up in order to land the two-time Finals MVP.
It seems the Heat’s trade package centered around guard Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, and multiple first-round picks isn’t enough.
While including All-Star Bam Adebayo would massively boost Miami’s offer, it’s not clear if the Heat is willing to part with the 25-year-old center, or if the Nets are willing to trade Ben Simmons to facilitate the blockbuster trade, as the Designated Rookie Extension rule prohibits teams from acquiring two players via trade signed to that type of contract.
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An NBA scout recently told the Miami Herald‘s Barry Jackson, “If you’re the Heat, you make that trade, even if you need to include [Ben] Simmons. If you have an opportunity to get a player like Kevin Durant, you do it. From my relationship with Pat Riley, I believe the Heat would make that trade [including Adebayo] if given the option. I’m not sure that would be enough for Brooklyn.”
Adebayo broke his silence on the ongoing trade rumors during an appearance at the Heat’s youth basketball clinic at the Hard Rock Stadium on Thursday, July 21, as a kid bravely asked the Kentucky alum about the possibility of him suiting up with another team this season, as reported by Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman.
“It is what it is, control what you can control,” Adebayo said. “Obviously it’s an opportunity for something, but in my opinion, control what you can control. I can’t control that. So do what I’ve been doing. I get up early. I work out. Having fun with these kids. And I’m going to go home and go to sleep.”
In response to those saying the Heat won’t be competitive without making a blockbuster move this summer, Adebayo shut that narrative down. “They’re always counting us out. We The Kennel for a reason, the underdog. That’s our chip. You can believe what you want, you can say what you want.”
The Heat Have Not Spoken to Adebayo About Possibly Trading Him Away
When NBA teams converged in Las Vegas for Summer League play, Heat general manager Andy Elisburg and Nets general manager Sean Marks “were chatting at their hotel” on July 11, per Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, who tweeted that Miami is “determined to exhaust all options to acquire Durant before pursuing anything else significant.”
Jackson also revealed a key detail concerning Miami’s possible trade offer for Durant, which implied that there’s at least one Heat All-Star that they are not willing to include in a deal.
“There has been no discussions between Bam Adebayo and the Heat about a Kevin Durant trade,” Jackson reported. “The sense is that Miami prefers not to deal him.” As for Adebayo, he “has not sought assurances from the Heat about whether he would be traded in any Durant deal.”
While it was reported that Durant wants Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, and Kyle Lowry still on the Heat’s roster if he were to be traded to Miami, its ultimately up to the Nets’ front office to sign off on a proposed deal. If the Heat are serious about Durant, they will need to get more creative.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said earlier this month that the Heat’s pursuit of Durant remains aggressive and that in order to make an offer that satisfies Brooklyn, they might “even need a fourth team” to get involved since “there’s really not a one-on-one deal they can do.”
The Heat Are Urged to Trade for Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchell Instead of Durant
While the Heat remains focused on Durant, ESPN’s NBA Insider Kevin Pelton recently urged Miami to dedicate all their time and energy to landing Utah Jazz’s three-time All-Star Donovan Mitchell instead.
“Durant turns 34 in September, which puts him in the same range as Miami starters Jimmy Butler (33 in September) and Kyle Lowry (36),” Pelton wrote. “By contrast, the 25-year-old Mitchell would reset the Heat’s timeline and align it with 24-year-old center Bam Adebayo. And if Miami doesn’t think the Nets will ultimately trade Durant, this might be its best chance to land a third star while [Jimmy] Butler is in his late prime.”
Despite his age, Durant remains one of the best players in the NBA. Last season, the 6-foot-10 forward averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.4 assists per game, while shooting 51.8% from the field and 38.3% from beyond the arc.
As for Mitchell, the 6-foot-1 guard averaged 25.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1.5 steals per game last season.
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