Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Momentum for ‘All-In’ Heat to execute blockbuster trades grows

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The trade demand of Kevin Durant has put the entire NBA Free Agency on hold, according to some NBAs insider and other available NBA free agents. Recently it looked like the Nets wouldn’t get what they wanted in exchange for Durant and he would end up back in Brooklyn next season. As the summer league drew to a close, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst shared that a deal might not come soon and that executives were going on vacation.

“The executives are going on vacation … At this point, the Nets’ preferred situation is for Kevin Durant to stay with them. There is no trade they have that they like.” Windhorst said per Legion Hoops.

All signs seemed to point to Durant’s trade talks falling and he would likely remain with the Nets, but recent reports from Marc Stein have provided the first positive impetus in Durant’s trade talks.

As trade talks for the Nets continue, the landscape of potential Durant contenders continues to change. When the Phoenix Suns matched the Indiana Pacers’ bid sheet, they were likely eliminated from the sweepstakes for Durant. With a package highlighted by Mikal Bridges, they’re unlikely to have what it takes to land Durant. The Toronto Raptors have been unwilling to include Scottie Barnes in any trade proposals, and the Nets are reportedly uninterested in deals he is involved in. That puts the New Orleans Pelicans and Miami Heat among the teams with the greatest potential to add Durant.

NBA insider Marc Stein recently added his coverage in his Recent substack article that Miami is literally turning up the heat to strike a deal to bring Durant to South Beach.

“Unsurprisingly, the constant title-or-bust heat is all in to scour the league to try and make additional first-round picks to increase their chances of getting a trade for Kevin Durant or Donovan Mitchell complete from Utah. But most teams ask this question: if we trade for Durant, how long before he wants to go somewhere else?” stone wrote.

Miami has the best chance of securing Durant for the long term. He loves hoops and would probably be a seamless transition into the Heat culture. If the team can land the picks to land a blockbuster deal for one of the league’s best players, the deal could actually go through.

Just as the deal with the Raptors stops at Scottie Barnes, the deal with the Heat is complicated by their reluctance to include Bam Adebayo in any of their trade proposals. Keep in mind that any deal that includes Adebayo would have to include Ben Simmons as the two cannot be in the same team after signing maximum rookie contract extensions.

Durant himself doesn’t want Adebayo involved in any trade deals if the heat can land him. Trading Adebayo may also knock them out of the title fight. ESPN’s Zach Lowe recently commented on what the loss of Adebayo could mean for the Heat.

“If Durant and The Heat are trying to win a championship, Bam has to be on that team. Durant would need to play with Bam in Miami for them to have a realistic chance of winning the title. [But] The Nets wouldn’t do a one-for-one trade without Adebayo,” Lowe said.

Lowe also commented on what he felt the Heat would offer to successfully shield Durant from the nets, which may not currently be on their list.

“If the Heat can pull this off, I’d be surprised [though] I don’t doubt her. Tyler Herro and three first-round picks and a few swaps and a little salary, that’s not enough.”

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