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NBA

Trade rumor: Who could the 76ers include in a trade package for Kevin Durant?

Another team is added to the rumour mill around Kevin Durant’s possible trade, with insiders speculating what a 76ers offer would look like.

Update:
Nets’ Kevin Durant believes the 76ers’ Joel Embiid is a worthy MVP choice this season
Dustin SatloffGetty Images

Let’s be clear, Kevin Durant in the Philadelphia 76ers is an odd fit. James Harden was on the Nets, next to Durant and Irving, just last season, and he requested a trade to Philly because he did not want to keep playing with those guys, reuniting with Daryl Morey at the same time. Now, just a few months later, Durant has said that he would be interested in playing with Harden again. There’s not much sense to make of it, but when a superstar says that he may want to play in your team, you have to explore your options, and that surely is what Morey and the 76ers brass are doing now.

A trade for Durant, what’s the market?

Last week Durant gave Nets owner Joe Tsai yet another ultimatum, saying that he has to choose between the MVP forward, who has four more years signed with the team, or the GM-Headcoach combo of Sean Marks and Steve Nash. Tsai’s answer was clear, and public, so now we are left with the same scenario we’ve been in for over a month: where does Kevin Durant get traded to?

We are just weeks away from Rudy Gobert being traded for the equivalent of five first round picks, and Durant is another caliber of player. The Celtics have shown a willingness to trade for Durant, as have some other teams, but there’s no offer remotely close to the value that Durant should command. The Heat can’t throw any of their major pieces, such as Butler or Lowry, in the trade offer because Durant would not want to play in Miami if not for those guys, so the centerpiece would have to be Tyler Herro. The Suns cannot trade Deandre Ayton, and they will not trade Booker, so they are out of the race. There may be some dark horses such as New Orleans, but Durant may just refure to play there. In this convoluted situation, every option is open, and so even the assets-depleted 76ers may be a contender for Durant.

A possible 76ers offer for Durant

Daryl Morey loves superstars, his roster construction method revolves around them, but there are still limits to what he can do. He traded Ben Simmons, pieces and picks for James Harden last season, a move that was supposed to put Philadelphia over the top and help them contend for the title. It did not work on the first try, but there is still time, as the Embiid-Harden combo seems like it will be able to dominate next season. But now Kevin Durant has muddied the waters, even more, by saying that he would be fine playing next to Embiid and Harden because, well, who wouldn’t? And, in due dilligence, this is what Daryl Morey can do about it:

Philadelphia 76ers receiveBrooklyn Nets receive
Kevin DurantTobias Harris
Matysse Thybulle
Tyrese Maxey
Draft compensation

Tyrese Maxey is a young promising guard who may very well get to be an All-Star in the future, so he has value. Tobias Harris is a volume scorer who is getting paid a lot, so not so much. Matysse Thybulle is a great specialist defender who can be forced out of the court due to his offensive deficiencies, so his value is hard to measure. And, after the Harden-Simmons trade with the Nets, there are not that many 76ers pick that don’t already belong to Brooklyn. It works, money wise, and if Jaylen Brown or Brandon Ingram or some other better players are not available for the Nets, they might be forced to accept a deal like this one, but it is just too little for Kevin Durant.