Kevin Durant Eyeing Potential Blockbuster Trade to Sixers: Report

Kevin Durant, James Harden

Getty James Harden cheers on Kevin Durant during a home game at Barclays Center.

The Philadelphia 76ers have been loosely connected to Kevin Durant ever since he requested a trade out of Brooklyn. Looking at their available assets, and scant cap space, it seemed like a highly unlikely scenario.

Borderline impossible, actually. But, according to SNY’s Ian Begley, that hasn’t stopped the Sixers from at least kicking the tires on a possible Durant trade. Begley cited “high-ranking members” in the organization who have been strongly pushing to acquire the two-time NBA Finals MVP. Here’s what he reported:

Something worth noting: As of earlier this week, there were high-ranking members of the Sixers who’ve felt strongly about engaging with Brooklyn on a Durant trade.

It is unknown if Brooklyn and Philadelphia have made any recent progress on a trade.

The Sixers would almost certainly have to include Tyrese Maxey in a trade for Durant. Given the dynamics at play, you’d think that Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle and other players/draft picks would be included.

Interesting. The asking price is nothing new. The Sixers would undoubtedly have to unload Maxey in a deal for Durant. He’s their best young prospect, plus he’s under team control on a cheap rookie deal. Harris ($76.8 million) and Thybulle ($4.4 million) would be needed to create cap space. Furkan Korkmaz ($10.3 million), too.

Philadelphia still seems like a long shot to land Durant. Boston is the top team expected to make a run at him, per Begley. And the Celtics are Durant’s preferred destination. Miami and Toronto are also in the mix. But Begley dropped one more seismic nugget: “Well, it’s worth noting that, in addition to Boston, Durant also sees Philadelphia as another welcome landing spot, per people familiar with the matter.”

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Trade Kicker Included in James Harden’s Contract

James Harden has been winning the offseason. He started by releasing his own signature wine collection. Then he lured his buddy P.J. Tucker to Philadelphia. And he won over his haters by taking a $15 million discount. Winning.

Harden also protected himself from an unwanted trade in the process. According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, Harden’s contract carries a 15-percent trade kicker. His contract also comes with a player option for the 2023-24 season. While the trade kicker and player option are notable, neither one should matter. The Sixers reportedly have a “wink-wink-guarantee” about Harden’s future.

Joel Embiid Loves ‘Frickin’ Kevin Durant

Not surprisingly, Joel Embiid loves Durant and would easily sign off on a trade for him. Would he be willing to lose Maxey in the deal? Who knows. However, Embiid has gone on record making his feelings clear about Durant.

“He’s just so frickin’ talented and so good, whether it’s scoring the ball or whatever he’s able to do on the basketball court, so I have a lot of respect for him,” Embiid said of Durant. “I love playing with him. He’s always talking trash for no reason sometimes.

“He makes a bucket and he’s talking trash, that’s just like the way he plays. I love his intensity and you know me, I kind of play the same way. I love talking trash and I love letting them know that I’m here. That I’m dominating you and that’s just the way it is.”


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