By Adam Thompson | | 5 mins
Kevin Durant Trade Odds: Celtics, Heat In Race But Nets Still Favored
Kevin Durant wants to leave the Nets. After a disappointing and tumultuous season in Brooklyn, it looks like its super team is falling apart.
Durant is due over $43 million annually with four years left on his contract. He has no options; the Nets can keep him or trade him anywhere and get a king’s ransom that could alter their entire roster for years to come.
The latest reports say Durant and Nets owner Joe Tsai recently met in London, where KD once again reiterated his desire for a change in scenery. Durant reportedly gave Tsai an ultimatum: It's either me or GM Sean Marks and coach Steve Nash.
At this stage the Nets' asking price for Durant seems too steep for many teams but if management believes a rebuild is better than the current situation, reducing the demands and trading Durant could put that rebuild into the fast lane.
Durant is considered, by most pundits, to be one of the top five players in the NBA. In a league where stars win championships, some believe trading Durant puts management on the edge of insanity. Upon news of KD's trade request, Brooklyn's NBA title odds on DraftKings sunk from around +700 to +2500.
But Durant’s trade request and the murky situation regarding the status of Kyrie Irving has the Nets in a teeter-totter position: Do they go all-in or instead go for the complete rebuild?
Brooklyn, for its part, is in no rush and sounds content with both Durant and Irving in training camp. As the sting from last season’s failure passes, the idea of running it back may strengthen.
The haul for Durant could be akin, or bigger, to what the New Orleans Pelicans received from the Los Angeles Lakers when they shipped Anthony Davis for three starters and three first-round draft picks. That helped build the Pelicans into a potential Western Conference contender for years to come. Rudy Gobert’s recent trade to the Timberwolves – for five players and five picks – only increased the price tag for KD.
So which team would want Kevin Durant? Short answer: All of them. Which team could afford him in terms of salary and trade capital? Short answer: Not many. It’s likely to take three teams as part of a deal to move Durant, given Brooklyn’s demands.
Most teams favored to acquire Durant are contenders with at least one star and significant, viable draft picks. Phoenix was long considered the favorite to land Durant, but the Suns' matching of the Pacers' four-year, $133 million offer sheet for Deandre Ayton makes a KD move to Arizona much more complicated (league rules dictate Ayton now can't be traded until Jan. 15, and he can also veto any deal).
Durant, it has been reported, had Phoenix as his preferred destination. It's why we had Phoenix out in front in terms of likely destinations for Durant in our initial NBA betting market. But the Suns' odds have slipped from a high of +200 (33% implied probability) to where they currently sit at +600 (14.3% implied probability).
The Celtics have reportedly dangled All-Star Jaylen Brown in trade talks this summer. He could be packaged with the three first-rounders Boston has at its disposal – if Brooklyn is willing to make a deal with a chief divisional rival.
In the meantime, Brooklyn has shown no rush, or even a willingness, to move KD. The Heat have been trying to add someone to play alongside Jimmy Butler for years, the Raptors are seeking a star player to join their young and talented corps, and the Grizzlies would love to woo Durant to join Ja Morant in Memphis.
The Raptors reportedly have the most potential to offer a trade that wouldn't require a third team to enter the mix. But reports at this stage say they're unwilling to deal 2022 NBA Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes, which puts a roadblock in the way of prospective talks.