The Miami Heat were named as one of the two teams that Kevin Durant would like to be dealt to following his trade demand with the Brooklyn Nets. The immediate speculation involving the Heat in trade rumors was quickly tempered after clarification that the Heat and Nets could not complete a deal that would put Bam Adebayo and Ben Simmons on the same team.
The Miami Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman tweeted reminding, “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.”
Durant’s Preferred Heat Teammates
However, reports of who Durant would like to be part of the Heat include Bam Adebayo, making a trade even more complicated.
“Durant, it seems, would only want to play on a Heat team that includes Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Kyle Lowry. So even if the Heat were willing to move Butler in a deal as a way of satisfying the Nets’ (understandably pricey) request, doing so would leave Durant discontented from the start,” Sam Amick wrote for The Athletic.
But, can a deal like that be made? “If the Heat’s best offer is centered on Tyler Herro, I just don’t see how that ever gains any traction,” Amick wrote. “And in terms of Durant’s preferred destinations, this is why it seems as if the Suns may have a shot at making some magic happen here.”
The Nets reportedly want to multiple All-Stars and picks in any Durant deal, and with that it is hard to see the Heat being able to pull anything off. Tyler Herro likely wouldn’t be enough to get it done.
The Athletic’s John Hollinger proposed one possible deal that could get close in his recent column.
What Deal Could Get Done?
Before getting into the possible deals, remember, Bam Adebayo can’t be part of a trade package as long as Ben Simmons is a Net, because of that same CBA provision on “designated rookie” deals. So to get Durant, the Nets would likely have to absorb Simmons as well.
“If that’s the case, then suddenly we can get to Miami trades that actually work. How about one where Miami sends out Adebayo, Kyle Lowry, Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro, two unprotected firsts (2023 and 2028) and three picks pick swaps (2024, 2027, and 2029) for Durant, Simmons and Seth Curry?”
That is a lot to give up while not knowing what Simmons can bring or if he will return at the anticipated timeline. Is Durant worth it if it means parting with Adebayo, Herro, Lowry, and picks? The team would no longer have a big guy and lose a lot of valuable depth. If not, Durant the team still has hope for adding Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz.
Even if the Heat determine it is worth it to deal for Durant, can they put together a deal that the Nets agree on is still a major obstacle.