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Less than 24 hours of free agency: how Kevin Durant trade request has affected market. Irving, Ayton and Harden

There are a matter of hours left until the free agent market closes, and some of the top names available a week ago are still up for grabs.

There are a matter of hours left until the free agent market closes, and some of the top names available a week ago are still up for grabs.

The end of NBA Free Agency is less than a day away, and there is still plenty to be determined from now until 12:01 tomorrow. Brace yourself for a cacophony of headlines in the final moments leading up to the market closing as some of the top players available lock down deals on the last day.

Wall agrees to terms with Clipppers

There were three big names coming into the free agency period that every team, fan and NBA player had eyes on. Six days into free agency and one of those three players are still on the market. John Wall signed with the LA Clippers, and Kyrie Irving is looking for a way out of Brooklyn, but James Harden is still without a deal.

There was a lot of movement on day one when the market first opened at 6 p.m. ET June 30th. Most of the major deals that went down, went down in that day. Think of Anfrnee Simons going to Portland on a nine figure deal. Bradley Beal signing a max contract to stay in the nation’s capital, and Jalen Brunson agreeing to terms with the New York Knicks.

Everything got turned on it’s head just hours before the opening of the market when Kevin Durant told the Brooklyn Nets he wanted to be traded, sparking speculations and flipping the free agent market on its belly from the get go.

The KD news had a trickle affect that reached every team in the league, but it didn’t just affect teams. Free agents are now waiting to how the market plays out as they await their immediate future to be decided. These are biggest names still up for grabs, and many of them are directly impacted by Kevin Durant’s desire to leave the Nets.

James Harden

While Harden has plenty of experience playing with Kevin Durant, he does not seem to be impacted by Durants wishes to set sail from Brooklyn. Instead, it is rumored that the former MVP is looking to take a pay cut in Philadelphia after rejecting a $47 million player option.

All signs point to him staying and competing for a championship with Joel Embiid and the Sixers. If that scenario it would be a commendable decision by Harden who is sacrificing a huge pay day for a chance to be on a winning team. Harden has not won an NBA title, and in the later part of his career could chose the chance to contend for a title instead of looking for a fat contract. Having said that, Harden has played on three teams over the last two seasons, and it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see him ship out of Philly.

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie is the most directly impacted by the Kevin Durant news. Initial reports out of the Irving’s camp indicated that he was on the verge of signing his $36.5 million player option to stay in Brooklyn and and fight for another chance to reach the elusive Eastern Conference Finals and beyond with Kevin Durant. He ended up opting in, but now looks like a sign-and-trade is on the horizon for he and the Nets.

Since Durant broke the news to Brooklyn, Kyrie has looked more out of the Barclays Center than in. Brooklyn would obviously not be the same team without KD, and would have an adverse affect on their chances of keeping Kyrie, especially after the tumultuous season in which he battled COVID restrictions and the front office who separated him from the team for much of the year.

Deandre Ayton

Kevin Durant stated that one of his most desired destinations is Phoenix, who made it to the Finals two years ago, but crashed out early in this year’s Western Conference Playoffs. Ayton is one of the staples of the team and quickly becoming a top big man in the league.

Durant said he only wants to go to the Suns if they keep their core of players that have contributed to deep playoff runs over the last couple of seasons. If Durant is traded to the Suns, how likely is it that at least one of their stars is sent east to Brooklyn? I’d say pretty likely. Brooklyn doesn’t want to go from NBA Champion contenders to a team in a rebuilding process in the course of an offseason.

Demarcus Cousins

While Boogie Cousins may not put up the All-Star worthy stats he used to as one of the game’s best big men, he is still a productive center that can come off the bench and play some big minutes. He had a nice season with the Nuggets, backing up the two-time MVP of the league, Nikola Jokic.

While the Nets won’t be knocking down the door of Brooklyn for a straight swap, the Nuggets could involve in a package deal or look for some sort of multi team trade if they decide to sign and trade him.


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