The Miami Heat‘s pursuit of landing Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant may be an uphill battle, but the franchise believes it’s a worthy fight and will not give up on their hopes of landing the 12-time All-Star.
While NBA teams converge 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.”
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On Tuesday, July 12, Jackson revealed a key detail concerning Miami’s possible trade offer for Durant, which implies 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.”
“According to SNY-TV NBA reporter Ian Begley, ‘People with connection to the Heat have been in Durant’s ear heavily in the days after the trade request.'” According to a league source briefed on the matter, initial talks between the Heat and Brooklyn were “hot and heavy,” but then cooled when Brooklyn wasn’t satisfied with Miami’s potential package. But the Heat continues its pursuit,” Jackson noted.
The Heat May Need a ‘Fourth Team’ Involved to Utilize Adebayo in a Trade for Durant
If the Nets wanted to acquire Adeabyo in a trade, they would have to first get rid of Ben Simmons. Explaining why, Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman tweeted, “The Heat cannot include Bam Adebayo in any deal for Durant, since the Nets already have Ben Simmons as a designated-contract player. Only way for Bam to go to Nets in a Durant deal would be for Nets to also trade Ben Simmons.”
The Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang explained, “That’s because of the Designated Rookie Extension rule: A team can’t have two players acquired via trade who were signed to that type of extension. Simmons also falls into that category.”
On Tuesday, July 5, Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz encouraged the Nets to make a “simple trade” with the Dallas Mavericks to unload Simmons because it “could help facilitate” Durant’s “trade to the Miami Heat (with Bam Adebayo involved).”
Swartz’s trade proposal has Brooklyn sending Simmons to Dallas in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie, Maxi Kleber, 2025 first-round pick (lottery-protected) and a 2027 first-round pick (lottery-protected).
On Tuesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported 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.”
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.
Time & Patience May Benefit the Heat When It Comes to the Durant Sweepstakes
If the drama in Brooklyn continues to get worse, by January, the Heat will have three more trade pieces at their disposal. The Heat have yet to make an outside move in free agency but re-signed Victor Oladipo, Dewayne Dedmon, and Caleb Martin.
Based on how those deals were structured, it seems Heat president Pat Riley may be cooking up something big. Martin becomes trade eligible on December 15, while Dedmon and Oladipo can be moved beginning on January 15.
If things don’t pan out with Durant, there’s hope that a trade for another ALl-Star could happen later on in the season. Jackson reported on Tuesday, “If Utah guard Donovan Mitchell ultimately ends up playing for the Heat, it could take months — or even longer — for the situation to play out. The Heat continues to monitor the situation with Mitchell, the high-scoring All-Star guard who has neither asked for a trade nor is being shopped. The Heat has long admired Mitchell’s game.”