Breaking Down Latest Trade Scenarios Involving Kevin Durant

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It has been a little less than a month since Kevin Durant requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets and yet little progress has been made in regards to a possible trade involving the former league MVP.

When healthy, Durant has proven to still be one of the best scorers in the entire NBA and this is even coming off of his Achilles surgery in 2019.

Whether or not the twelve-time All-Star actually wants to be traded from Brooklyn or if he is just looking to spark change from within the organization is unknown right now, but some around the league do in fact believe that Durant will be a part of the Nets’ roster heading into training camp, which is set to begin around the final week of September.

However, Kevin Durant being available on the trade block continues to dominate headlines and talk around the NBA, as multiple teams are still showing heavy interest in the 33-year-old.

The Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat have been the three teams most linked to a potential trade with the Brooklyn Nets the last four weeks and now, two new teams have emerged as possible destinations for Kevin Durant.

The Washington Wizards could be a possible landing spot in a trade for Durant given that the Nets All-Star is from Washington D.C. and lately, the Boston Celtics have suddenly emerged as a real frontrunner in these trade rumors.

No deal is imminent, yet the Celtics still remain at the forefront of everyone’s attention in regards to a possible Kevin Durant trade because of the assets they have.

Brooklyn is wanting a slew of draft picks, key talents who can contribute right away and an All-Star-level talent in exchange for Kevin Durant and Boston has all of these things to offer up should they wish to do so.

Jaylen Brown is an All-Star-level player that the Nets do have interest in, multiple sources told SI Fastbreak, and Boston has several other key talents they could offer up. Robert Williams III, Marcus Smart, Derrick White and Grant Williams were all key components of the Celtics’ run to the NBA Finals this past season and a mix of them could be included in a deal to land Durant.

No deal is on the verge of happening though between the Celtics and Nets not only because of the structure of what has already been offered.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Boston Celtics have already offered Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and a draft pick to the Nets for Kevin Durant, but the Nets turned down this offer and stated that they would need Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart, multiple draft picks and possibly another player in return in any package.

Coming off their run to the NBA Finals as mentioned earlier, the Celtics find themselves set to begin the 2022-23 season as the favorites in the Eastern Conference. 

Their young All-Star duo of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum has already exceeded expectations to this point and with a ton of other secondary talents now being on the roster in Danilo Gallinari and Malcolm Brogdon, Boston has to like their chances of making it back to the NBA Finals this upcoming year.

Deciding not to go after a talent like Kevin Durant though when they have the power to get a deal done though may be too much to ask for from the Celtics’ point of view though, especially given that president of basketball operations Brad Stevens has proven that he is not afraid to make huge moves to set the Celtics up for success.

As mentioned before, the Washington Wizards are another team that is worth mentioning in the “Kevin Durant Sweepstakes.” Finding more talent to pair with All-Star Bradley Beal is this organization’s main goal right now and they have various assets that can be thrown together in a potential deal.

Not only could the Wizards look to flip former All-Star big man Kristaps Porzingis for Kevin Durant, but they also have Kyle Kuzma, Rui Hachimura, Deni Avdija and Corey Kispert as trade assets. Will Barton and Monte Morris could also be dealt after August 28, but it is unlikely that Washington will be wanting to part ways with either of them given that they just acquired the two from the Denver Nuggets in a trade involving Ish Smith and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope this offseason.

The Miami Heat’s best trade package remains something revolving around Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson. Bam Adebayo would obviously be a huge asset for the Heat to attach in a deal for Kevin Durant, yet the Nets cannot trade for Adebayo as long as Ben Simmons is on their roster due to the rule prohibiting a team from acquiring two players who were both given designated rookie extensions.

The Nets would need to find a way to move Simmons in order to bring in Adebayo, Robinson and Herro in a deal for Durant and at this point, things just get very sloppy and way too complicated from a multi-team trade scenario.

Both Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton cannot be dealt for a while due to the Phoenix Suns agreeing to extensions with both of them in the offseason, basically eliminating the Suns from pursuing Kevin Durant and the Toronto Raptors are still not willing to give up Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes, basically taking them out of the running for now as well.

As we inch closer to August, a major dead period in the NBA calendar year, trade talks surrounding Durant are expected to remain dormant. Many teams in the league, including those outlined above, just do not have the right amount of assets to offer up right now, leading to the possibility of the Nets’ All-Star still being a part of their roster heading into the training camp.

Out of all the teams in the league right now, the Boston Celtics definitely have the ability to offer the best package and get a deal done as soon as possible. Whether or not this happens though remains a massive “if” around the NBA.