NEW YORK (BVM) — Arguably the best player in the game took the NBA world by storm Thursday afternoon prior to the official start of free agency. After signing a deal with Brooklyn exactly three years ago, Kevin Durant has requested a trade from the Nets.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 30, 2022
While every fanbase is currently trying to figure out a way to get Durant on their team, here are some possible destinations for the 33-year-old superstar.
Fun honorable mentions
Oklahoma City Thunder
The transaction that could actually break Twitter. Durant starred for the Thunder franchise for nine seasons before his departure to Golden State. The exit from Oklahoma City was not the friendliest, but it would be hard to imagine Thunder fans not wanting the NBA legend back on their team. And with Sam Presti’s treasure trove of first–round picks, it is worth bringing OKC up.
Going into Durant’s last season in Oklahoma City, the Wizards were viewed as a viable threat in landing him that offseason. The timing may not be perfect, but it is safe to assume that the D.C. native has at least considered suiting up for his hometown team before he retires. With Bradley Beal possibly coming back and Kristaps Porzingis in the fold, it is interesting to think about what the ceiling is for a Kevin Durant-led Wizards team.
More realistic options
The trade: The Suns acquire Durant. The Nets acquire the rights to Deandre Ayton, Jae Crowder, Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Elfrid Payton, and the Suns’ 2023, 2025, and 2027 first-round picks
For most of the past season, the Suns looked like a surefire contender for the Larry O’Brien Trophy after they finished the year with 64 wins. Instead, they were eliminated in a seven–game semifinal series by the Dallas Mavericks. Where do they go from here? Now add Durant to that core. The Suns would skyrocket to being the hands–down favorite to win it all next season. With Ayton’s free agency being a topic of conversation all season, the Suns can possibly figure out a way to drastically improve their roster. Durant has also acknowledged publicly his admiration for Devin Booker’s game.
— Overtime (@overtime) June 30, 2022
The trade: The Heat acquire Kevin Durant; The Nets acquire: Kyle Lowry, Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro and the Heat’s 2023, 2026, and 2028 first-round picks.
Blockbuster transactions are pretty familiar to Heat fans. A Durant trade would be reminiscent of the summer of 2010, where they acquired LeBron James and Chris Bosh. While the Suns may have a better core, you could make the argument that the Heat are the better team. Monty Williams has done wonders since he entered the league, but Erik Spoelstra overachieves year after year with the roster he is given. If the Heat can keep Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, while acquiring Durant, the Heat should fly through the regular season and deep into the playoffs next season.
New Orleans Pelicans
The trade: The Pelicans acquire Kevin Durant; The Nets acquire Zion Williamson, CJ McCollum, the Lakers’ 2023 first-round pick, the Bucks’ 2024 first-round pick and the Pelicans’ 2025 first-round pick.
Optimism abounds in New Orleans despite the No. 1 overall pick in 2019 not playing a single game this past season. Does that make it intriguing to include him as a trade piece? If it is for Durant, the answer is yes. New Orleans’ other budding star Brandon Ingram was compared to Durant during the 2016 NBA Draft process. If you could pair the two, and Ingram could make the next jump to superstardom, this could turn into one of the most dynamic duos in the NBA.