Kevin Durant has requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets, setting the stage for a league-altering deal. Brooklyn is expected to move Durant, and a couple of suitors stand out as the top contenders to acquire the superstar forward.
The Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat are the most likely trade destinations for Durant, according to ESPN. Both teams are on Durant’s wish list, and they can offer Brooklyn a mix of young players and draft picks.
Kevin Durant has requested a trade out of Brooklyn, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 30, 2022
Durant requested a trade with the team today, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/BkNEHwkrc0
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2022
Phoenix is Durant’s preferred destination, according to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes. The Suns had the NBA’s best record last season before being upset by the Dallas Mavericks in Game 7 of the conference semifinals. Phoenix has a championship-caliber roster, and Durant could potentially push the team over the top to deliver the franchise its first-ever title.
In a potential trade, Durant would join Chris Paul and Devin Booker in Phoenix. Deandre Ayton, who is about to enter restricted free agency, would have to be the centerpiece of a Durant trade. The Nets would likely also ask for Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson and a bevy of draft picks.
The Suns could send Brooklyn up to four future first-round draft picks.
Tyler Herro might be the best young player that Miami can offer Brooklyn, making the Heat’s potential offer less appealing than what the Suns can trade. Salary-cap restrictions would prevent the Nets from having both Bam Adebayo and Ben Simmons on the roster at the same time.
The Nets are not allowed to acquire a player like Bam Adebayo from the Heat because of the Designated Rookie Extension rule.
You cannot have 2 players acquired via a trade that were signed to that type of extension.
Brooklyn already has Ben Simmons. https://t.co/AWvLLVh1Op
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) June 30, 2022
Adebayo averaged a career-high 19.1 points per game for the Heat last season.
Most teams around the league are likely to pursue Durant. The Nets are expected to take the best offer, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, and they won’t simply send Durant to the team of his choice.
Durant has four years and $194 million left on his contract. Before getting hurt in the middle of last season, Durant was a top candidate for MVP.
If the Nets trade Durant, they are expected to explore trading Kyrie Irving, as well.