When will the Kevin Durant trade happen? Why is it taking so long?
The story of the summer is still without an end, as the Nets star has still not found himself a new team to play with.
It’s the story that’s occupied more airtime and page space than any other since the offseason began, but alas we are no closer to knowing just what will happen with Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant.
What’s the situation with Kevin Durant right now?
In case you were under a rock for the last month, Kevin Durant requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets just a few hours before free agency began on June 30th. Since that time, Durant has gone nowhere and is still very much on the Brooklyn’s roster. There have been rumors and intense speculation of course, but in the end nothing worth writing home about. On the one side, the Nets were hoping for a bidding war, but Durant who’s about to begin a new four-year extension that’s worth $194 has gone nowhere.
With a particularly quiet trade market this year, nobody has made a definitive move for the 34-year-old who remains one of the best players in the league’s history, but at the same time, also 34-years old. This is all to say, that it’s a tough situation to manage. Durant has been openly unhappy in all three of the teams he’s played with - the Thunder, The Warriors and now the Nets - so as one can imagine, teams aren’t exactly jumping at the chance to give up three to four future first round draft picks, along with what will have to be a young All-Star level player. As for Durant’s preferred destinations, we’ve got the Suns and the Heat. Miami’s situation is a little more complicated because of the league’s rules regarding having more than one rookie on the same deal. Where the Suns are concerned, they recently re-signed Deandre Ayton which definitely threw a spoke in the wheels, but it’s understood that the idea of a move for Durant still lingers. How does this all go down? Let’s take a look at the most logical outcomes:
Kevin Durant stays with the Brooklyn Nets
To be honest, this is the scenario that’s beginning to look the most likely. As mentioned above, Durant is actually under contract for another four seasons which makes moving him all the more difficult. There’s also the fact that like it or not, the Nets have all the tools to be a real contender - as they should have been this past campaign - when the 2022-23 regular season tips off. Kyrie Irving is also still under contract next season on a one-year deal, Ben Simmons appears to be finally rounding the corner after his back injury, Joe Harris is doing the same where his ankle is concerned, T.J. Warren is a star in the making and last butnot least, they’ve got Royce O’Neale who may yet be able to give the team what they’ve been missing from the wing.
Yes, it’s true that both Simmons and Harris are major doubts in terms of whether or not they can recover and moreover get back to their best. On the other hand, if the pair can indeed recover, they will be more than a handful for the likes of the Bucks, Celtics and 76ers come next season. Incidentally, there is another possibility and a realistic one at that. As with James Harden’s trade request when he was with the Houston Rockets, Durant may well start the season with the Nets and then be traded later on. Should that prove to be the case, then many may well find it incredulous, but the reality is it’s going to take some doing for it to end any other way.
Kevin Durant stands his ground
Unlike the option above, this one is quite the opposite in that it’s probably the most improbable of outcomes. As a devout student of the game, it’s hard to imagine Durant refusing to attend training camp or participate in games until he’s granted a move away from the team that he’s stated he wants to leave. Yet, if we consider Durant’s teammate Ben Simmons and the manner in which he forced his way out of Philadelphia, it’s not such an unrealistic scenario anymore. Again, it’s unlikely, but keep an eye on the narrative as the summer wears on.
The Phoenix Suns get their man
Here’s the thing, any deal to bring Kevin Durant to Phoenix will likely be costly, but if the Suns are willing to pay the price, then it will become an open and shut case. Though it’s true that Ayton’s re-signing makes things a bit convoluted, the reality is that the prospect of one of the best players ever to play the game, playing alongside Devin Booker and Co. is enough to make anyone curious. As a team that’s never won a title and moreover, is in a position - if they want - to actually put a decent package on the table, it will be interesting to see whether or not the franchise decides to go all in for the Nets star. Watch this space.
A team we didn’t see coming gets KD in the end
If there is one thing that’s surprising in all of this, it’s the fact that despite the resources invested in him and more importantly the lack of a return on that investment, Brooklyn seems intent on respecting Durant’s wishes. That, however, does not mean they’re going to let him go for peanuts. In light of that, if Phoenix can’t get themselves together and the Heat can’t figure out a way to offload a few players, they will both be out of the running. Yet, that will do nothing to change the fact that the entire league will still know that Durant wants out. The Raptors for example, could offer Durant a new home, but as they know too well it would cost some resources they don’t want to give up i.e., OG Anunoby, Gary Trent and a whole host of future draft picks. There’s also the Pelicans, Grizzlies and even the Nuggets, but again these teams would all likely have to part with some major names. Ultimately, there is no sure bet as to where Durant’s story will end, but at the least you can see some of the central reasons why.