The Kevin Durant sweepstakes have just been reignited with a new team throwing their hat into the mix. KD requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets in June and has been sitting on the market, being linked to various teams. So far, the Boston Celtics have been considered the favorites to land KD, with teams like the Philadelphia 76ers also interested.
However, a move back to the Western Conference could be on the cards for Durant, with the Memphis Grizzlies joining the race to trade for the star forward. The same has been reported by NBA Insider Shams Charania, which gives extreme weight to the possible interest from Memphis.
The cost of trading for KD is going to be a massive talking point between the team. Shams has reported that the Grizzlies want the Nets to accept a pick-heavy package to alleviate losing valuable players like Jaren Jackson Jr. or Desmond Bane.
"Recently, a new team has shown interest in Durant: the Memphis Grizzlies, league sources tell The Athletic. Fresh off a 56-win season, the Grizzlies have made new inquiries to the Nets about Durant, those sources added. Memphis has five first-round draft picks available (four unprotected selections of its own and one protected via Golden State in 2024) to utilize in a trade as well as young players like Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane, Ziaire Williams, Brandon Clarke, Kennedy Chandler, and David Roddy." (h/t The Athletic)
The Grizzlies having 5-first round picks to offer is easily the most tempting for the Nets if that's the direction they want to go in. But if the Grizzlies are unwilling to include Jaren or Desmond in the trade, the Celtics may be able to outweigh the Grizz package by giving them Jaylen Brown to pair with Ben Simmons.
If the Nets can find the value in taking prospects like David Roddy, Ziaire Williams, and maybe a veteran in Dillon Brooks, the Grizzlies could emerge as the front-runners to acquire KD. With their long-term flexibility and smart contracts across the roster, Memphis could be an unlikely but smart destination for KD.
Whether the Grizz need to go all-in by trading for KD while their core is still young is a contentious topic, but it is hard not to inquire about the cost of adding KD when you have all the assets that Memphis have. We'll see how genuine the interest is over the next few weeks.