In the pulse-pounding NBA offseason ride, what seems certain one day is ridiculed and jettisoned the next. Things change quickly around the NBA in July.
The Phoenix Suns seem to be the frontrunner to trade for Durant, and there are a few reasons why.
First, Durant wants to go there, and while the Nets can ignore his wishes – Durant is under contract for another four years – things go smoother when everyone is happy. Second, there are multiple avenues to a trade with Phoenix, most notably a Deandre Ayton sign-and-trade with Mikal Bridges† Cameron Johnson and three future first-round picks. Of course, given what the Timberwolves
Overpaid exchanged for Rudy Gobertthe price may have gone up.
But as far as personal dynamics go, his close relationship with Suns coach Monty Williams may top the list. The two had one season together in Oklahoma City, that 2015-16 campaign when Williams was an associate head coach under Scott Brooks and Durant was in his final Thunder days before heading to Golden State in free agency.
The Suns are the frontrunners, but they are not the only teams in the race.
Durant named the Heat as the other franchise he wants to play for. The problem is that Durant wants to get there without Miami giving up on one of the guys he wants to play with, which makes the trade pretty much impossible. Again from Amick.
It seems that Durant would only want to play on a Heat team that consists of: Jimmy Butler† Bam Adebayo and Kyle Lowry† So even if the Heat were willing to put Butler in a deal as a way to fulfill the Nets’ (understandably expensive) request, Durant would be displeased with that from the start.
The Heat could put together one Tyler Herroz and Duncan Robinsonbased trading package, but there’s no chance the Nets would take it. As discussed earlier on this site, the only way to make a Durant to the Heat trade work is to include Jimmy Butler in the package. If that’s off the table, the deal is DOA.
The Nets’ other move is to go with a team that is not on Durant’s list and put together the best trading package. Toronto Can Do That — Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes or All-NBA Pascal Siakam of OG Anunoby and a series of first-round picks will work. The Clippers can build an interesting package around it Paul George if they want. Brooklyn is not locked into what Durant wants.
But what he wants is the Suns, and that might be the best offer on the table. At least now.
See more on the Nets
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