Free agency is always a frenzied time in the NBA as players try to leverage their current teams for new deals while exploring new opportunities. For example, Kevin Durant wants out of Brooklyn and everyone is calling the Nets to find out the asking price.
Durant didn’t put the Philadelphia 76ers on his wish list of destinations, but there is enough smoke to indicate he might be interested. He has business interests in Philly, plus Joel Embiid has long admired Durant’s game. His insertion into the Sixers’ starting five would create a Super Team when paired next to James Harden.
However, it would take a lot to get the two-time Finals MVP into a Sixers uniform. Any trade package would have to center around Tyrese Maxey, the fan-favorite guard entering his third season. Would Sixers president Daryl Morey be willing to give up a guy who is reportedly untouchable? It is “frickin’ Kevin Durant,” as Embiid once said.
Maxey was sitting at home minding his own business during the start of free agency, watching everything unfold and no doubt hearing his name come up in trade rumors. He didn’t comment directly on the Durant situation, but he did take to Twitter to proclaim: “The NBA has to be the most entertaining league….. correct?”
That is correct. To recap some of the bigger moves: Durant is pushing for a trade; the Sixers inked P.J. Tucker to a three-year, $33.2 million deal; Bradley Beal is staying in Washington; Bobby Portis is returning to Milwaukee; Jalen Brunson cashed in with the Knicks; and Andre Drummond is going to Chicago.
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Sixers Ink Danuel House to Two-Year Contract
The 29-year-old started the 2021-22 campaign with the Knicks before moving on to the Jazz. He averaged 6.8 points and 2.7 rebounds in 19.6 minutes per game while shooting 41.5% from three-point land. It’s not exactly a flashy signing but House provides much-needed depth and toughness on the wing. The undrafted kid from Houston reunites with Daryl Morey, his former general manager from their Rockets days.
Embiid Pushing Hard for Durant?
There are a few reports out there saying that Embiid has been pushing the Sixers’ front office hard to acquire Durant. Some of them have questionable sources; others seem to carry weight. Jason Dumas of KRON4 News in the Bay Area was in the know on Sixers-related rumors at last year’s trade deadline.
Dumas dropped this nugget about the Embiid-Durant rumblings: “Source: It’s unclear whether Kevin Durant is interested in joining the 76ers, but Joel Embiid has made it clear to management that he wants them to exhaust every option in trying to acquire Durant.”
Interesting. Durant’s connections to Philly have been well-documented. He holds an ownership stake in the Philadelphia Union, plus he grew up 2.5 hours away in Maryland. It’s also worth noting that Durant selected Embiid with his first pick of the 2022 NBA All-Star Game draft.