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In case you forgot, Kevin Durant applied for a trade with the Brooklyn Nets over a month ago, with the request coming in late June. While rumors swirled everywhere in the weeks that followed, there was very little movement on the actual trade front.
That’s the same story around the federation, where player movement has come to a crawl apart from those hoping to fight for a place at the back of the bench.
Yet Durant’s bargain still stands.
Why are trade talks stagnating? SNY’s Ian Begley has the scoop.
In this case, the anonymous NBA source is likely referring to negotiating a three-team deal. This would allow both Brooklyn and Durant’s buyer to better match the moving parts.
A team might want to offer a point guard or power forward that the Nets don’t need with Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons already on the list. Bringing in a third or even fourth team might help close a deal, but no one is interested in it as of yet.
Related: Toronto Raptors not even considering parting ways with Scottie Barnes in Kevin Durant trade
Trade talks with Kevin Durant could pick up steam at any moment
No matter what, a Durant trade is difficult to pull off. He’s a top-notch talent that doesn’t often make it onto the trading bloc. Not only that, the Nets probably don’t care to drop him from the squad. They brought him in to help win a championship and they are yet to get close.
But their goals haven’t changed, and as long as they keep Irving and Simmons, they still feel the championship window is as open as ever.
Matching salaries in a Durant trade has its own complications. He’s due $42.9 million in 2022, so teams need to put together a package that’s equal to 125% of his salary.
More importantly, teams need to present something the Nets are interested in. We’ve heard that the Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, and Toronto Raptors are the teams heavily associated with a Durant trade.
In Toronto’s case, they don’t want to part with their top asset, 2021 NBA Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes. Maybe this is a deal breaker for Brooklyn.
They won’t give up on Jimmy Butler in Miami, and Bam Adebayo is also unlikely to be available as replacing him from the inside is no easy task.
Same with Phoenix. Working out a sign-and-trade with Deandre Ayton might have been the best option, but that ship has sailed since agreeing to his four-year, $133 million extension.
All in all, the nets just haven’t gotten the value they seek. Trading Durant should net a massive catch, including at least one proven play, along with several first-round picks. If they can’t find an all-star or at least a frontier star, then who has the potential for more, what’s the rush?
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