Memphis Grizzlies reportedly interested in Kevin Durant
The Tennessee franchise, second in the West last season, is considering going all-in in the acquisition of Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant.
The summer days are passing, the training camps are approaching (the preseason is one month away) and the NBA is generating little news activity. There has been nothing new on two fronts that have frozen the latest market movements- possible seismic upheavals regarding Kevin Durant (and, by extension, Kyrie Irving) and Donovan Mitchell.
The weekly article by Shams Charania of The Athletic on the market situation does not provide big news, but it does add a suitor for Durant, who requested a transfer from the Brooklyn Nets on June 30.
No set price on Durant trade
The star forward, who turns 34 in September, is about to begin a four-year, $198 million contract extension. This never-before-seen situation (a megastar requesting a transfer with four years remaining on his contract) has caused an uproar in the market. Any team would want a player like KD, but the offers fall short and no one seems to even know what the price tag really is.
Charania insists the bundle would have to include an all-star player or equivalent level, other valuable top-tier rotation pieces, and a powerful bag of draft rounds.
Teams considering Durant
The most interested parties have been the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors.
But, the Canadian team does not want to let go of reigning Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes; the Heat have not formalized an offer with Bam Adebayo as the central piece, and the Celtics are torn between going for broke with the 2014 NBA MVP, or maintaining the lineup that came within two wins of the ring in the last Finals (4-2 for the Warriors).
The Celtics offered Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and a first round pick. The Nets would want Brown, another top player like Marcus Smart or Robert Williams, and more picks.
Other interested parties have been the Denver Nuggets, the Philadelphia 76ers and even the Milwaukee Bucks. The New Orleans Pelicans have also sent feelers, but they don’t want to part with Brandon Ingram. The Atlanta Hawks made an arguably insufficient offer: John Collins, De’Andre Hunter and a first-rounder.
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Memphis Grizzlies throw their hat into the ring
In the midst of all this, another interested party emerges, one that could turn the NBA upside down if they get Durant on board- the Memphis Grizzlies, the team that won 56 games and finished second in the West last season with one of the youngest blocks in the entire League.
The team from Tennessee has up to five first rounds that they could use in a transfer (four of theirs and a protégé from the Warriors, in 2024) and a batch of emerging players that includes Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane, Ziaire Williams, Brandon Clarke, Kennedy Chandler, David Roddy. For now, the Grizzlies prefer not to negotiate using Jackson Jr. and Bane, Ja Morant’s main squires.
We will have to see what happens as the weeks go by, if Durant tightens the rope even more and threatens not to show up at training camp. The Nets are not in a hurry, and they have indicated that their intention is to try a new assault with Durant, if he finally agrees to play with them again. There’s also Kyrie Irving who seems increasingly far from the Los Angeles Lakers. At least, until Durant’s future is determined.
On the Donovan Mitchell front
There is also no major news regarding Donovan Mitchell. But the negotiations advance, the New York Knicks and the Utah Jazz are in talks, and an agreement seems inevitable. In New York they want a superstar and the Jazz are thinking of the future, having already traded Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Knicks’ latest offer was this: Evan Fournier, Obi Toppin, extra salary and five first-round picks, at least two unprotected. But the Jazz are asking for more, much more for their great star, a 25-year-old who still has three years left on his contract in Salt Lake City.
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