Kevin Durant is generally considered a top-5 player in the league, and there is no doubt that he is a game-changing superstar. He is an elite forward that can do it all on the basketball court. Generally, that caliber of player doesn't hit the trade market, but it seems as though that happened today.
It was recently reported that Kevin Durant has requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. There are a number of teams reportedly interested, but his preferred destinations are the Miami Heat and the Phoenix Suns.
Phoenix and Miami are among two of the teams that Kevin Durant has on his wish list, sources tell ESPN, but the Nets plan to move Durant where they can get the best possible deal. With four years on his contract, there's no shortage of teams willing to unload assets for Durant.
There is no doubt that both teams have the assets to get a deal for Kevin Durant done. In this article, we will detail how each team can land Kevin Durant, and make themselves a legitimate championship contender in the process.
Phoenix Suns Create An Elite Big Three
Phoenix Suns Receive: Kevin Durant
Brooklyn Nets Receive: Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, 2024 First-Round Pick (PHX), 2026 First-Round Pick (PHX)
In this trade scenario, the Phoenix Suns would be able to send out Deandre Ayton in a sign-and-trade for Kevin Durant, which would be the main appeal of this package. They would also add in Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson in the trade package as the other players in this scenario, which would give the Brooklyn Nets two elite 3 and D players, who have room to improve in the future. There are also two first-round picks involved as draft compensation.
Overall, this trade package seems to be a fair value for Kevin Durant. The Brooklyn Nets would get a premier big man in Deandre Ayton who is amazing on both sides of the floor and has star potential if given more touches. Mikal Bridges was the runner-up for the DPOY award this season, and at times, he has shown flashes of being able to create his own shot and finish near the rim effectively. Cam Johnson is an elite wing player who can guard multiple positions, and he shot 42.5% from beyond the arc this season. The players the Brooklyn Nets would get are very good, and the 2026 first-round pick could end up being very valuable in the future.
For the Phoenix Suns, adding Kevin Durant to a duo of Devin Booker and Chris Paul would mean they have an elite big 3. They would likely have the most star power out of any team in the Western Conference, and would likely be among the championship favorites. Any time a contending team has a chance to add a superstar, the chance should be taken, and we'll see if the Phoenix Suns will get a deal done.
Miami Heat Pair Kevin Durant With Jimmy Butler
Miami Heat Receive: Kevin Durant
Brooklyn Nets Receive: Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Max Strus, 2023 First-Round Pick (MIA), 2028 First-Round Pick (MIA)
The Miami Heat are another team that was listed as a preferred destination for Kevin Durant, and he could definitely get them over the hump and get them back to the NBA Finals. Jimmy Butler is one of the best two-way players in the league and clearly a superstar when it comes to the playoffs, but he needed some help on the offensive end during the postseason from the rest of his teammates. Kevin Durant would provide that, as he is, of course, one of the best offensive players in the league.
The Miami Heat package to send to the Brooklyn Nets would be centered on the duo of Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro. Herro won the 6MOTY award this season, and he looks like he could develop into an elite scorer in the future. Bam Adebayo is a legitimate 5-position defender, and he has shown that he is a great scorer in transition as well as being an elite rebounder and playmaker. The Heat would also be getting elite shooters in Duncan Robinson and Max Strus, and the draft compensation involved could be appealing for the Nets, especially the 2028 first-round pick.
Bam Adebayo and Ben Simmons are both on designated rookie max extensions, so only one of them can be on the roster at a time. However, the Brooklyn Nets could end up trading Ben Simmons to be able to add Bam Adebayo to the roster, and they would likely get solid offers from opposing teams. Another option for them would be re-routing Bam Adebayo to a third team to get more assets. It was notably reported that the Brooklyn Nets would ask the Heat for Bam Adebayo and the Suns for Devin Booker in a Kevin Durant trade. The Suns trading away Devin Booker isn't realistic, but it is quite possible that the Heat trade Bam Adebayo to improve their roster.
For the Miami Heat, sending this package out for Kevin Durant would increase their ceiling as a team, and they could definitely win a championship with the roster they would have in that scenario. Jimmy Butler and Kevin Durant would be a good fit offensively, and the Miami Heat have been known to chase big-name players in the past. We'll see who ends up winning the Kevin Durant sweepstakes, but the Miami Heat definitely have a solid chance of doing so.