Kevin Durant has requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets will likely want to get a deal done quickly with free agency starting. Here are potential trade destinations for Kevin Durant.
1. Phoenix Suns
One of the two teams that Durant listed that he would prefer to play for was the Suns. Phoenix made the Finals in 2021 and have excelled in recent years. The location and competitiveness of the Suns recently make it a great location for Durant to play.
The Suns could pair him with Chris Paul and Devin Booker to create a superstar-led team. They could offer up DeAndre Ayton in a sign and trade deal, but would also likely need to give up a lot of picks to outbid other teams desperate for a superstar. If it were solely up to Durant, the Suns would be a great location, but the assets they are willing to give up could hinder them.
2. Miami Heat
The other team that Durant deemed acceptable for a trade was the Heat. Miami went to the Finals in 2020 and nearly made it there this season. It seems that location and competitiveness of the team seems to be what Durant prefers in his next destination.
In Miami, Durant could pair with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo to create a formidable team. While the Heat have several talented defensive players, the offense that Durant would bring could make them very difficult to guard as a unit. Pat Riley has been aggressive in making moves for superstars before and could find another way to get a deal done again.
3. New York Knicks
While the Knicks weren’t listed as one of the preferred destinations, Durant could stay in the city he has played for if he gets traded to the Knicks. The Knicks haven’t been too competitive, relatively, over the last several seasons, but they have cleared cap room in order to build the roster up.
Trading Durant across the city may be too much for the Nets to do, but players do have influence on where they want to be traded these days. If Durant sees the Knicks as a team that could utilize their cap space well around him, he could create a new contender in the Eastern Conference with them. The Knicks will have to give up picks and possibly some solid contributing players to get the job done. For a franchise that has been desperate for a superstar since Patrick Ewing, the Knicks should go all-in on getting Durant.
4. Portland Trail Blazers
It was only a few days ago that Damian Lillard tweeted out a photoshopped image of he and Durant playing on the Blazers together. Portland wasn’t on the list of destinations Durant gave, but another great player could convince him. The Trail Blazers would be able to compete in the Western Conference with this dynamic duo.
Last season, the Trail Blazers traded away C.J. McCollum in order to retool their roster around Lillard. That trade, and some other moves Portland has made, has opened up cap space to afford another star. They will have to give up some players and picks to get the job done, but if they want to win a championship with Lillard, this is the most proactive thing they can do.
5. Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis has a bright young star in Ja Morant. He has electrified the league with his highlight-reel dunks and athleticism. Morant has a decent team around him, but acquiring Durant would put the team on a whole other level. It could accelerate the timeline of the Grizzlies competing for a championship.
While Durant doesn’t have a say in the trade, he may not want to play in Memphis. He has shown to prefer bigger markets or markets that could help him financially in the past. The Grizzlies have enough assets to get the trade done, but may need to sell Durant on Memphis.
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