What would the asking price for a potential Kevin Durant trade look like? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
As the Brooklyn nets Kyrie Irving lose to a sign-and-trade or NBA free agency, and then Kevin Durant decides he wants to trade, what could the team acquire in exchange for the former league MVP and two-time NBA champion?
It’s not clear if Durant will actually trade, though he’s reportedly “considering options with his future,” per The Athletic’s Shams Charania† ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported last week that some some teams hope Irving leaves because it increases the chances of Durant being available commercially. Irving has reportedly been given permission from the Nets to seek a sign-and-trade†
When we get to the point where a Durant transaction is a realistic outcome, the asking price will likely be huge. Durant still under contract for four years after signing a contract $194 million extension last August. The deal does not include player or team options. The chance to acquire a superstar who is arguably the best player in the league would be quite enticing, especially if he’s signed for long term.
What asking price could the Nets ask from interested teams? One of the recent trades involving a top 10 player could serve as a template.
“As for a Durant return, I asked a league source about such a deal a few days ago and the answer was, ‘Look up the Anthony Davis trade with the Lakers and start there,'” Alex Schiffler of Athletics wrote on Monday:†
In case you forgot, the Los Angeles Lakers acquired Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans in 2019 and gave up Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, three first-round picks and an unprotected first-round pick swap. So far, those picks have been No. 4 overall roster in 2019 and No. 8 overall roster in 2022. Ingram has developed into an All-Star player.
Davis was 26 when the Lakers traded for him. The superstar center did have (and still has) sustainability concerns at the time, but it was very much in its prime. Durant turns 34 on Opening Night in October and has played in 90 of the possible 154 regular season games for the Nets in the past two years. But if Durant is healthy, he is still a top three player in the league. He averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists in 55 games last season. Durant remains a true No. 1 on a championship contender.
The Nets need not rush Durant trading. He will not come into contact with free agency again until 2026. His influence here is minimal at best. Brooklyn can take its time and wait for the best package.
It’s bizarre that the Nets are at a point where the loss of both Irving and Durant three years after they came to Brooklyn is a real result this off-season. But that’s the NBA in 2022. Everything can change in a year or two, which is why teams need to take advantage of every championship window they’re lucky enough to be a part of.