The drama surrounding the Brooklyn Nets has remained stagnant since Kevin Durant reportedly doubled back on his June trade request. At this point, the likelihood of a trade happening soon seems to be low as the offseason concludes and teams start their respective training camp periods.
Although the Nets have yet to gain traction on a trade, new suitors have emerged in the KD sweepstakes. The Celtics, Raptors, and Heat are the biggest threat to land the 12-time All-Star, but Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the Nets, and those three front-runners, haven’t been having any conversations lately.
Charania reported that the 76ers expressed their interest in acquiring Durant while the Bucks and Nuggets reached out in June and inquired again in July to determine Brooklyn’s asking price. That asking price is still an All-Star, other high-level players, and draft picks to this day. When the Pelicans inquired with the Nets in June, they reportedly told Brooklyn that Brandon Ingram was untouchable, per Charania. Atlanta reportedly offered John Collins, De’Andre Hunter, and a draft pick.
Because of that high price tag, suitors like Toronto possibly pulled out after refusing to make Scottie Barnes available. Boston made Jaylen Brown, Derrick White, and a first-round pick available, but Brooklyn didn’t bite. According to Charania, Miami hasn’t offered a package built around Bam Adebayo.
The Memphis Grizzlies have reportedly become the newest trade suitor. Memphis could put together an attractive package surrounding their five first-round draft picks, four unprotected and one protected 2024 pick via Golden State, and young players like Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane, Zaire Williams, Brandon Clarke, Kennedy Chandler, and David Roddy.
Despite all the new traction in trade partners, Boston is still the premier front runner to acquire Durant. When Boston offered Brown, White, and a draft pick, Brooklyn countered by requesting Smart, more draft picks, and one more rotation player per Charania. While Boston has the assets to make something happen, there appears to be a reported gap in what the Celtics are willing to let go.
Brooklyn believes they have improved their roster after trading for Royce O’Neal, signing T.J. Warren, and re-signing Patty Mills and Nic Claxton while expecting the healthy returns of Ben Simmons and Joe Harris. Kyrie Irving is set to return as well after signing his player option. According to Charania, Irving has been working out with teammates and held a constructive dialogue with the Nets this offseason.
With four years remaining on Durant’s current deal, Brooklyn has no incentive to move the four-time scoring champ. Entering his age 34 season, Durant is less likely to sit out a season and has already dismissed rumors that he would rather retire than play for Brooklyn again.
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