After being sparingly connected to the situation, the Philadelphia 76ers find themselves in the middle of the Kevin Durant sweepstakes. Ian Begley of SNY recently reported that the two-time Finals MVP listed Philly as a desired landing spot.
Pulling off a trade for Durant will be no small feat, but that has not stopped Sixers fans from connecting all the dots that could lead to a blockbuster deal. It’s also worth noting the former MVP has been spending time with James Harden recently, and reports have surfaced that he wants to reunite with his former teammate once again.
Many have questioned why Durant would want to go to Philly after how things went down with Harden in Brooklyn. That being said, one analyst sees why the All-Star forward is interested. During a recent appearance on “First Things First,” FS1’s Nick Wright explained why the Sixers check all the boxes Durant might be looking for with his next team.
It does not surprise me that Durant would look at the Sixers and say ‘Embiid’s pretty great, I know on the court Harden and I work.’ Yeah, it doesn’t surprise me at all that he would look at that from a basketball perspective and say yeah we could go win a title, and by the way, no one would be able to accuse me of joining a ready made champion since this team has made the conference finals one time since Dr. J was on the team. I understand why it checks those boxes for him.
Nets Might be Unwilling to Trade Kevin Durant to Sixers
Even though Kevin Durant might view the Sixers as a desired landing spot, getting a deal done is going to be challenging. The Nets are keeping their asking price high in discussions, and Daryl Morey has limited assets at his disposal.
Another wrinkle between these two teams is that Brooklyn already owns the Sixers’ future. In the James Harden-Ben Simmons trade, Morey had to hand over two first-round picks to the Nets. Because of this, ESPN’s Bobby Marks feels it’s unlikely they would help Philly improve moving forward.
If you’re the Nets’ perspective, you have their picks already, so why are you going to make this team a lot better? The pieces are there certainly when you look at Harris, and Maxey, and Thybulle for Durant. But from a draft pick perspective, it doesn’t make sense.
The Tyrese Maxey Debate
Since Kevin Durant first requested a trade, the main question for the Sixers is if they should consider putting Tyrese Maxey on the table. Fresh off a breakout season, the 21-year-old is proving that he has star potential.
In 75 games last season, Maxey averaged 17.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG, and 4.3 APG. He was also among the league leaders in three-point percentage at 42.7%. Getting this type of production from a player on their rookie contract is huge for a team who has a lot of money tied up in its stars.
Maxey is by far the Sixers’ most valuable asset, given his output and pay scale. While adding Durant would instantly turn them into a superteam, giving away Maxey at this stage in his career could come back to haunt them at some point down the road.