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Constructing a Kevin Durant trade with the Nets

Phoenix Suns v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

As you know by now, Kevin Durant dropped the bomb on New York by demanding a trade away from the Brooklyn Nets, and his list of preferred destinations is extremely short. Like, one team: The Phoenix Suns.

I know word around the media is that his list is at least two-deep, including the Miami Heat, but our buddy Flex from Jersey who’s gotten ALL this right, says Durant’s list only includes Phoenix.

The Nets, themselves, are saying Durant’s possible destinations include 29 teams because he’s already under contract and gosh darn it they aren’t going to be bullied. But you can count on one finger how many times a player has demanded a trade with a short destination list and been sent somewhere else. While Kawhi Leonard won a ring for Toronto, he left immediately afterward and the Spurs, who did the sending, lost some reputational clout for doing Kawhi that way. Both franchises have been struggling since that season.

Bottom line: Durant will almost certainly get what he wants. Just like Chris Paul got the trade to Phoenix in 2020 that he wanted. And now it’s up to the Suns to make Brooklyn happy enough not to screw Durant over.

I reached out to Tom Lorenzo, long time blogger with the great SB Nation site NetsDaily.com, to conduct our own back and forth.


Dave King—

Okay Tom, let’s start at the polar ends. I assume your starting request is Devin Booker. My answer is that Booker is on the same restriction as Bam — can’t acquire him because you already have Simmons

My initial offer, starting low, is Cam Johnson, Landry Shamet, Dario Saric, Cam Payne, Torrey Craig (total = 35.75 mil) for KD. All are expiring next summer except Shamet. Plus, 2 picks and 2 swaps.

What’s the counter?


Tom Lorenzo—

throw in a bottle of booze… NAY, several bottles… talk to me about Bridges and Cam Johnson and picks


Dave King—

Bridges makes it easier to deal, for sure, but the Suns would love to keep him. I know the rumor is to keep Ayton out of this, and the hard cap issue makes that a real thing.

I have a curveball: what if the Suns can convince the Raptors to do Ayton for OG Anunoby. Would you take OG, Cam Johnson and picks?


Tom Lorenzo—

sorry (after a delay)… was trying to get my guys to weigh in… they want more picks “gotta be 4 picks and 3 swaps for KD”


So that’s as far as we got, folks.

  • Mikal Bridges
  • Cam Johnson
  • $6+million more in filler (Payne, Saric, Shamet)
  • four first round picks
  • three pick swaps

Oof.

That’s A LOT.

But then Rudy Gobert went for five first round picks on Friday — FIVE! — so I can imagine the Nets want the world.

The Suns have the capacity to do that — 2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029 — with the pick swaps being the in-between years. The Collective Bargaining Agreement requires the ‘giver’ to keep at least one first round pick every other year, and not to give away any picks more than seven years into the future. Hence, the cap at 4 firsts.

In the alternate years, the Suns can promise the Nets the right to swap picks, meaning the Nets can take the Suns pick in exchange for the Nets pick that year. Of course, they’d only do that if the Suns really fell apart and the Nets got better.

Words of wisdom: James Jones hates the draft anyway, and Devin Booker is only 25 years old. So they can stay relevant even after Chris Paul and Kevin Durant fade out. And, this is KEVIN FREAKING DURANT. You just do it.

Words of warning: This is what killed the Nets for years — what they gave up for aging Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in 2010 only to see those guys get old really really fast — and why Boston got Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown at the 3rd pick in each of the 2016 and 2017 drafts while also drafting at their normal pick and pushing for the playoffs.

Gambo says the Suns are trying to get another first or two with an Ayton trade that’s separate or a part of the KD trade to the Suns. Let’s see how that works. Could be the Suns don’t have to encumber ALL their picks for seven years.

There’s also a chance the Suns and Nets rope in the Utah Jazz into a megadeal, which could ease the burden on the Suns providing ALL the draft picks while conveniently moving Deandre Ayton as well.

We’ll keep you up to date on Bright Side, folks!