Kevin Durant’s trade request has been stuck in limbo since he initially asked out from the Brooklyn Nets on June 30. While the majority league reportedly called inquiring about Durant, no team has approached the Nets’ asking price to this point. There has reportedly been little momentum building towards a Durant trade so far, but things could start getting more serious with training camps around the league set to open on Sept. 26.
Four teams have been mentioned as the main Durant suitors: the Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors, and Boston Celtics. Phoenix is Durant’s preferred destination so he can play alongside Devin Booker, but the Suns reportedly have not yet included the significant draft compensation Brooklyn is looking for. Boston’s offer headlined by Jaylen Brown is one of the juiciest rumors of the Durant sweepstakes yet, but the Nets are still holding out for more.
Durant has reportedly held firm on his desire to go to a new team even as Brooklyn has dragged out the process. With Durant still on the market, we came up with a handful of trade offers Brooklyn would have to consider. For the sake of simplicity, all of these are two-team deals (we wrote about an outlandish potential five-team trade for Durant earlier this month), and none of them violate the Designated Rookie Rule that limits Brooklyn’s possible return if Ben Simmons is still on the roster.
Boston Celtics’ best trade offer for Kevin Durant
Boston includes two future first round picks and a pick swap.
The Nets reportedly want Marcus Smart in this deal, and will certainly press Boston for every draft pick and pick swap they can get. The Celtics have to be careful because they’re already one of the championship favorites as presently constructed, and they don’t want to risk alienating Brown should he return to the team. Still, replacing Brown with Durant counts as a big upgrade, and would vault Boston into the being the title front-runner. It’s a tough call to part with Brown, but it’s worth risking it all for the Celtics. It’s possible Brown is the best young veteran available to the Nets in any deal.
2 Toronto Raptors trades for Kevin Durant
Toronto includes one future first round pick and a pick swap.
The Raptors can likely trump any offer for Durant if they’re willing to include reigning Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes. Toronto has reportedly been hesitant to do that to this point, and there are avenues to a deal that don’t include Barnes. The question is if Toronto’s best non-Barnes offer is still enough to beat out every other Durant suitor.
If the Raptors won’t include Barnes in a deal, here’s what their offer could look like:
Toronto includes four future first round picks and a pick swap.
The Raptors’ best non-Barnes offer should still get them to the table with the Nets. We used Anunoby over Pascal Siakam in this offer because he’s younger and is playing on a more team-friendly contract. This trade would give the Nets’ two potential starters, but unless Anunoby has another big leap coming, it probably won’t satisfy Brooklyn’s desire to land a young All-Star in any KD trade.
Miami Heat’s best trade offer for Kevin Durant
Miami includes two future first round picks and pick swaps.
Miami’s actual best offer would include Bam Adebayo, but the Nets can’t trade for him unless they deal Ben Simmons first because of the NBA’s obscure Designated Rookie Rule. It’s hard to see how a deal built around Herro has enough juice to get the job done, especially because Miami has limited draft capital to trade. The Heat will have to get creative to land Durant, but Pat Riley usually finds a way.
Phoenix Suns’ best trade offer for Kevin Durant
Phoenix includes four future first round picks and pick swaps.
We know Durant wants the Suns. Is Phoenix willing to do what it takes to get Durant? The only way this gets done is if the Suns offer four unprotected first round draft picks, and juices the deal with even more pick swaps. Hey, Phoenix GM James Jones said he doesn’t care about picks, right? We think the Suns should absolutely pull the trigger on this — and that they will regret it if they don’t. The question is if this offer is even good enough to beat out everyone else.
The Celtics, Suns, Raptors, and Heat are the four teams most often mentioned as Durant suitors, but it’s possible other teams could try to get in the mix. Here are some weirder and less likely KD deals.
Memphis Grizzlies’ best trade offer for Kevin Durant
Memphis includes four future first round picks and pick swaps.
Would the Grizzlies have to include Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr. to get a Durant deal done? It would certainly feel like the strongest offer of any potential suitor if it happens, but that feels like it’s too rich for Memphis’ blood. A deal built around Bane and a ton of picks is still a pretty good offer. Sign me up for a KD x Ja Morant pairing.
New Orleans includes three future first round picks and pick swaps.
The Pelicans can put together an extremely competitive offer for Durant. Ingram would fit what Brooklyn is looking for as a young All-Star, and the team is also loaded with future draft capital. It remains to be seen whether KD would actually want to play in New Orleans, but with Zion Williamson coming back, the Pelicans could be a legitimate championship contender with Durant.
Chicago Bulls’ best trade offer for Kevin Durant
Chicago includes two future first round picks and pick swaps.
Durant reportedly wants to play with two other All-Stars, and the Bulls would provide that with Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan. The only problem is Chicago has just two future draft picks to offer, which probably isn’t getting it done. Ball is a nice piece if he can prove he’s healthy, and Patrick Williams has a load of potential. If Brooklyn is high on Williams and Chicago’s other top young talent, Ayo Dosunmu, the Bulls could possibly get a seat at the table with this offer even if other teams can beat it.
New York Knicks’ best trade offer for Kevin Durant
New York includes five future first round picks and pick swaps.
The Nets are not trading Durant to the Knicks, but their crosstown rivals could put together a pretty good package. Barrett, Quickley, and Toppin are solid young pieces, and New York also has a ton of future picks to offer from themselves and other teams. This deal is a fantasy, but it sure would be fun. Expect the Knicks to use their assets to make a play for Donovan Mitchell instead.
Atlanta Hawks’ best trade offer for Kevin Durant
Atlanta’s future draft compensation is limited after pulling off a huge deal for Dejounte Murray, but they do have some appealing young players on the roster to potentially get at the table. If the Hawks were to get serious about Durant, it would likely have to be a multi-team trade.
Los Angeles Lakers’ best trade offer from Kevin Durant
Los Angeles includes two future first round picks and pick swaps.
All the buzz between the Nets and Lakers has been centered around Kyrie Irving if Durant gets moved elsewhere. Here’s my question: why wouldn’t the Lakers offer Anthony Davis for Durant? The Lakers don’t have enough future draft capital to get in the room for both of Brooklyn’s superstars, but the Nets’ ears would have to perk up if Davis is on the table.