Kevin Durant’s Preferred Trade Destinations Are Reportedly Phoenix And Miami

Kevin Durant is the latest Brooklyn Nets star to request a trade out of town, as the turmoil of this summer and the past season has apparently led the future first-ballot Hall of Famer to ask GM Sean Marks to find him a new team.

What makes Durant’s situation more intriguing than that of Kyrie Irving or James Harden is that, for one, Durant is the better player, and most importantly, his max extension signed last offseason kicks in this year and he is under contract for four more years. That means Durant, theoretically, has a bit less sway in pushing himself to a specific team, as there isn’t the threat of him walking in free agency, but it also means the Nets can ask for the world in return as you’re getting one of the best to every play on a long-term deal.

Still, Durant has his preferred list of destinations and depending on his relationship with the Nets brass (and how much they care about keeping a strong relationship with Rich Kleiman), that still could be taken into consideration. Per Chris Haynes, Jake Fischer, and Adrian Wojnarowski, the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat sit atop KD’s wishlist, but as Woj notes, the contract situation means the Nets will be fielding offers from everyone in hopes of getting the best possible package for their future.

That package will need to be built around both current players and picks, because a true rebuild isn’t in the cards for the Nets after all their picks they gave up to Houston in the James Harden trade two years ago. As such, a team will need to provide young star talent as well as draft picks to supplant those given up in the Rockets deal.

Phoenix seems to be the likely frontrunner for a KD deal, particularly if the Nets see Deandre Ayton as a star-caliber young player. Ayton as part of a sign-and-trade could be a centerpiece of a deal, with the Nets surely wanting Mikal Bridges and more, with the Suns likely pushing back and trying to keep their talented two-way wing for their title hopes. As for Miami, the best young player they can offer is Bam Adebayo, but because the Nets already traded for Ben Simmons, they can’t acquire the All-Star center from the Heat in a trade, which would seem to make things very difficult for Miami to get involved if it’s not a three-way deal.

The Woj report that they will open up negotiations to anyone feels like the Nets ensuring that Phoenix puts its best package on the table rather than trying to play hardball, because there are plenty of teams that will put up robust offers for the chance to bring Durant to town. Teams with a stocked cupboard of young talent seem the most dangerous, and one such location that might have Durant at least intrigued by the possibilities would be Memphis, where he could join Ja Morant and whomever would be left after a trade coming off a 2-seed in the West.