Miami Heat on Top of Nets’ Star Kevin Durant’s Trade ‘Wish List’: ESPN

Kevin Durant

Getty Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets reacts during Game Four of the Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center on April 25, 2022 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

While the possibility of Kevin Durant landing with the Miami Heat sounded like nothing more than an absurd rumor last week, such a blockbuster trade is now a legit possibility.

The Brooklyn Nets superstar sent shockwaves throughout the league by suddenly requesting a trade out of New York on Thursday, June 30. ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted, “Brooklyn Nets GM Sean Marks is working with Kevin Durant and his business manager Rich Kleiman on finding a trade for the franchise star.”

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The move comes as a wild surprise considering it was just last summer that Durant signed a four-year $194 million contract extension with the Nets, which was set to kick in during the 2022-23 NBA season.

“As the Nets prepare to move one of the most valuable trade assets ever on the market, the entire roster will available to discuss in deals,” Wojnarowski noted. “Teams have been calling on Durant, and the Nets will certainly look for a historic return on players and draft picks.”

According to the NBA insider, the Miami Heat are one of the top destinations for the 33-year-old power forward. Wojnarowski tweeted, “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.”

During a recent episode of The Ringer’s The Mismatch podcast, NBA analyst Larry Murdock shared there was some discord and an “uneasiness” between the 11-time All-Star and the Nets front office, noting that Durant hasn’t “talked ot the team in weeks.”

However, when fellow Nets superstar Kyrie Irving officially opted into the final year of his contract on June 28, it seemed Durant’s issues with the team’s execs might’ve been addressed, which turned out to be a wrong assumption.

What Would the Heat Need to Give up to Get Durant in Miami?

Bam Adebayo and Kevin Durant

GettyKevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets defends as Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat.

The Heat’s interest in Durant goes back in 2016 when the team met with the former No. 1 overall selection from the 2007 NBA Draft during free agency. And even amid rumors last week about Irving possibly landing in Miami, numerous reports noted that the Heat had their eye on Durant, not Irving.

However, nabbing the Slim Reaper will not come cheap, and a few of the Heat’s biggest possible trade pieces that cannot be used, unless a third team gets involved. Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman tweeted, “As @BobbyMarks42 has pointed out this week, 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.”

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.”

However, ESPN’s Zach Lowe suggested that the Heat can utilize their 2022 NBA first-round draft pick, Nikola Jovic, along with a slew of their future first-rounders to seal the deal. Lowe tweeted, “Miami can trade 3 future first-round picks (plus Jovic) *if* they amend the lottery-protected 2025 first-round pick they owe the Thunder to remove the protections. I triple-checked this with @BobbyMarks42 and a few league execs.”

Chiang suggests the Heat offer the Nets NBA’s 2022 Sixth Man of the Year, Tyler Herro, Jovic, while also including their unprotected 2023 and 2028 first round pics.

Heat President Pat Riley Is Not Afraid to ‘Make a Major Splash’

UNDISPUTED – "Kevin Durant to Miami Heat" – Shannon predicts KD's future if Kyrie leaves the NetsUNDISPUTED – "Kevin Durant to Miami Heat" – Shannon predicts KD's future if Kyrie leaves the Nets2022-06-23T15:06:18Z

NBA analyst Shannon Sharpe predicted Heat president Pat Riley would move mountains should Durant become available during the June 23 episode of Undisputed.

“You know Pat Riley is looking to make a major splash. He’s always wanted Kevin Durant, Skip. Now he thought he had a good chance to get him a couple of years ago,” Sharpe said. “Don’t think he won’t spin the block one more time… The question is what would he (Riley) be willing to give up in order to get him. I believe the only two players that would probably be off-limits is Jimmy and Bam. Because with Jimmy, Bam, and Kevin Durant, you have a potential of an arms race now.”

While Durant turns 34 in September, he’s arguably 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.

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