Momentum for ‘All-In’ Heat to Accomplish Blockbuster Trade Grows

Donovan Mitchell

Getty Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz in action against Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets

The trade demand of Kevin Durant has put the entire NBA free agency on hold, according to some NBA insiders and other available NBA free agents. Recently, it started to look like the Nets weren’t going to be able to get what they want in return for Durant, and he was going to wind up back in Brooklyn next season. As summer league was winding down, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst shared that a deal may not be coming soon, and that executives were going to be going on vacation. 

“The executives are going on vacation… At this point, the Nets’ preferred situation is for Kevin Durant to stay with them. There is no trade that they’ve got that they like.” Windhorst said, per Legion Hoops. 

All signs seemed to point to trade discussions were ramping downward around Durant, and he was likely staying with the Nets, but recent reports from Marc Stein have the first positive momentum in Durant trade talks. 


Marc Stein on Durant Trade Talks

As trade talks continue for the Nets and the landscape of potential Durant suitors, continue to change. When the Phoenix Suns matched the Indiana Pacers offer sheet it likely put them out of the sweepstakes for Durant, with a package highlighted by Mikal Bridges, it’s unlikely they will have what it takes to land Durant. The Toronto Raptors have been unwilling to include Scottie Barnes in any trade proposals and the Nets are reportedly not interested in any deals involving him. That leaves the New Orleans Pelicans and Miami Heat among the team’s with the most potential to add Durant. 

NBA insider Marc Stein recently added to his reporting in his recent Substack article that Miami is quite literally turning up the Heat in attempts to get a deal done to bring Durant to South Beach. 

“The perpetually title-or-bust Heat, not surprisingly, are all-in on scouring the league to try to manufacture extra first-round picks to boost their chances of completing a trade for Kevin Durant or Utah’s Donovan Mitchell. But more teams than not are asking themselves this question: If we trade for Durant, how long before he wants to go somewhere else?” Stein wrote

Miami has the best odds of securing Durant long-term. He loves to hoop and would likely be a seamless transition into Heat culture. If the team can land the picks to pull off a blockbuster deal for one of the league’s best players the deal could actually get done. 


Heat Unwilling to Include Adebayo

Just as the deal with the Raptors stops at Scottie Barnes, the deal with the Heat is complicated by them being hesitant to include Bam Adebayo in any of their trade proposals. Now, remember, any deal that includes Adebayo would have to include Ben Simmons, as the two can’t be on the same team after signing max rookie contract extensions. 

Durant himself doesn’t want Adebayo included in any trade deals if the Heat can land him. Trading Adebayo also may push them out of title contention. ESPN’s Zach Lowe recently commented on what losing Adebayo could mean for the Heat. 

“If Durant and the Heat are trying to win a championship, Bam has got to be on this team. Durant would need to play with Bam in Miami for them to have a realistic shot to win the title. [But] the Nets would not do a one for one trade without Adebayo in the deal,” Lowe said. 

Lowe also commented on what he thinks the Heat would offer to successfully secure Durant from the Nets may not be currently on their roster. 

“If the Heat can pull this off, I would be surprised [though] I don’t doubt them. Tyler Herro and three first-round picks and some swaps and some salary, that’s not enough.”

 

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