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How The Brooklyn Nets Can Sabotage Kevin Durant And Send Him To Orlando

How The Brooklyn Nets Can Sabotage Kevin Durant And Send Him To Orlando

It is no secret that Kevin Durant wants out of Brooklyn and that his stint with the Nets ended up being an utter disaster. From injuries to constant on-court and off-court distractions, the Nets never reached their potential as championship contenders and it was obvious that the team was going nowhere in the near future. Kyrie Irving, for one, does not seem to be committed to playing basketball, and his stance of not getting vaccinated ultimately killed the Nets’ chances last year.

Certainly, the James Harden drama did not help as the shooting guard effectively quit on the team and forced another trade to the destination he wanted to go to originally. Ben Simmons joined the team and he did not take away from the drama either, failing to play a game and also causing distractions with his back injury and bench appearances. It was a mess, and at the center of it was none other than Kevin Durant.

While Kevin Durant was consistent on the court when he was healthy and stands as arguably a top-two player in the world, he is not devoid of the blame for failing to lead a roster that also featured his best friend in Kyrie Irving. Durant wanted Kyrie with him in Brooklyn and also center DeAndre Jordan. Neither proved to be valuable members of the court, and Durant’s lack of leadership in making things calm and focused was evident. Some might argue that the Nets’ management deserves the bulk of the blame for giving the superstar players too much power and not keeping a handle on things.

But either way, KD will likely be traded out of Brooklyn and it should happen rather soon. As a means for Nets management to get maximum value out of their franchise superstar, they will look towards any team that offers the most attractive package filled with young players and picks. One of those teams could be the Orlando Magic, arguably the worst team in the league. In fact, there could be a package available that would ultimately sabotage Kevin Durant and force him to play for the Orlando Magic next season.


The Magic Go All-In For Durant, As A Means To Get Back To The Playoffs

The Orlando Magic franchise has not made the playoffs in a very long time and has not had a superstar since Dwight Howard left the roster back in 2013. Since Dwight led the team to the NBA Finals and also kickstarted an era of exciting basketball for Magic fans, there hasn’t been much to celebrate. Even valuable first-round selections such as Mo Bamba, Jalen Suggs, and Franz Wagner have played well but not shown enough to be considered franchise stars.

With Kevin Durant on board, the Orlando Magic have a legitimate superstar and arguably the best player in the world. Orlando management could be tired of losing games and constantly getting embarrassed on the basketball court, and Kevin Durant would be an immediate upgrade for them on both ends of the floor. But it would take a massive trade package for the Brooklyn Nets to accept a deal and it would feature the No. 1 overall pick, Paolo Banchero.

Trade Package: Paolo Banchero, Jonathan Isaac, Markelle Fultz, Terrence Ross, 2023 First Round Pick, 2025 First Round Pick, 2026 First Round Pick, 3 Pick Swaps for Kevin Durant

We do not know what to see from Paolo Banchero, but it is obvious he is a bundle of talent with clear All-Star potential. Banchero was surprisingly taken No. 1 overall ahead of promising youngsters including Chet Holmgren and Jabari Smith because they were certainly the most hyped rookies out of the draft. But Banchero was selected No. 1 overall nonetheless, and he is not a bad choice by any means. It is expected that Banchero could be the favorite for Rookie of the Year because of his status as the best player on the Magic.

But Banchero would also be the best player for the Brooklyn Nets should he be traded in a package for Kevin Durant. Losing Banchero without the young player playing a single game would hurt in almost any circumstance, but not for the services of one of the all-time great scoring talents in Kevin Durant. As good as Banchero will be in his rookie campaign, he will not equal the level of Durant in any way.

With Kevin Durant on the roster alongside other talents including Franz Wagner and Cole Anthony, the Magic will finally have the pieces to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. For years, Orlando has been a massive pushover because even when they made the playoffs (twice since 2012), they were beaten in the first round. Clearly, the Magic saw that a roster with a core of Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, and Evan Fournier was not good enough to win enough and blew up the team. They have acquired some nice pieces in Cole Anthony, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, and Mo Bamba, and Kevin Durant would be the final piece to actually get back in the playoffs and put up a fight.

Kevin would immediately become the Magic’s greatest-ever perimeter player since Tracy McGrady, and he would guide the team to at least a few victories in the playoffs if not make it out of the first round, if motivated. Of course, the Magic are benefiting far more from Durant than the player is from the team because there aren’t veteran pieces on the roster that are ready to win now. Still, it would be unbelievable to imagine the Orlando Magic welcoming Kevin Durant to their ranks after years of mediocrity. At least, with KD, the Magic can try to make a push in the playoffs for the first time since the Dwight Howard days, and dream of returning to the NBA Finals.


Kevin Durant’s Career Is Sabotaged, Probably For Good

Kevin Durant would not benefit from this trade at all. But he does have 4 years left on his contract with the Brooklyn Nets, meaning the team ultimately has the right to move him anywhere they want. Remember, even if Durant is a top-two player in the world, he is still an employee of the franchise and the owners. But if Durant were to join the Magic, there would be no doubt that his career would be sabotaged forever. For one, KD has multiple years on his contract, meaning the Magic would have the luxury of moving him anywhere they want, if at all. If Durant is stuck in Orlando, his dream of winning more championships would essentially be over.

Seeing Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors capture another NBA championship in 2022 must have rubbed KD the wrong way, because the swingman was stuck dealing with never-ending drama in Brooklyn while wasting away his valuable years as an aging superstar. Durant will be 34 years old next year, meaning he has at least 2 or 3 more years at an absolutely elite level. Instead of trying to make things work in an uncomfortable situation in Brooklyn, he requested a trade. But Orlando would not be the best place for KD and might be in fact, the worst.

Sure, KD is talented enough to probably guide the team into the playoffs if he applied himself as such. He has enough young pieces around him to at least win games to see him get in the postseason. But that is obviously not the point of Kevin Durant requesting a trade out of a team that already features All-Stars in Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons. Forcing Durant to join the Magic would be the ultimate form of career sabotage. Remember, the Orlando Magic finished with the worst record in the Eastern Conference and the second-worst record in the NBA behind the Houston Rockets. Kevin Durant would give the team at least 20 more wins and a shot at making the playoffs through the 7th or 8th seed or a spot in the play-in tournament. But that would waste yet another season of Kevin Durant’s prime for nothing.

As great as he is, Durant is not winning a championship with the Orlando Magic. There is simply too much talent around the league including massive threats in Orlando’s own conference. The Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, and Miami Heat are all title contenders that are in win-now mode while the Atlanta Hawks will continue to upgrade the roster as well. The forward does not have it in him at age 34 to overcome all the odds and somehow compete with a very young and inexperienced Magic side. In many ways, he would be better off in Brooklyn rather than joining Orlando.

Overall, only the harshest of Kevin Durant detractors would love this move. KD is without question one of the greatest scorers ever with 4 scoring titles to his name, and seeing the last few years of his prime go to waste would be painful for the masses. The forward worked extremely hard to return from his Achilles injury, and some believe he came back even stronger considering his efficient level of play. Last year with the Nets, Durant averaged 29.9 PPG, 7.4 RPG, and 6.4 APG on 51.8% from the field, 38.3% from three, and 91.0% from the line. These are superstar numbers from a superstar player, who made it clear his preferred destinations include the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat.

The Orlando Magic are nowhere near the level of either team, but would still break the bank for a chance to acquire Kevin Durant. Losing Paolo Banchero is not easy, but they might do this deal if the Nets truly want the package offered to them. Brooklyn could win this trade with a player with No. 1 overall pick talent and a host of future picks, because that is hard to get anywhere else, especially with the Phoenix Suns refusing to include Devin Booker in trade talks. Orlando might win this deal and Brooklyn could rebuild quickly, but Kevin Durant would suffer the ultimate form of career sabotage if this deal would ever go through.

Instead of competing for championships and finding a way to silence all the critics about his lack of championship success without the Golden State Warriors, he would waste another valuable year of his career without silverware. For a player that is looking to climb the all-time rankings, this would be career suicide because even his former teammate Stephen Curry has added the 4th championship and his rival LeBron James is sitting pretty with 4 titles as well. Durant better hopes the Brooklyn Nets accept a trade offer from a contending team like the Miami Heat or Phoenix Suns because he could be at some risk of joining one of the worst teams in the league. 

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