Why trading Kevin Durant may not be that easy

Kevin Durant’s trade request not set free agency on its ear , but that of the enitre NBA as well.

Players of Durant’s caliber aren’t on the market that often so the Nets were Miley fielding calls from every team in the league, whether they believed they had a legitimate shot at acquiring him or not. KD has Phoenix and Miami at the top of his list of preferred destinations but is there any one franchise that can put together a package sufficient enough to pry Durant away from Brooklyn.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Brooklyn wants a an All-Star level player, a massive group of draft picks, first round picks and pick swaps.

Under normal circumstances, the asking price for Kevin Durant would be very high but seeing what other star players, of which KD is a superior player to all of them, have commanded in recent trades, it will likely take an emperor’s ransom to obtain Durant’s services.

Let us review the trades of notable players and what it cost to get them:

Dejounte Murray, Spurs to Hawks

Dejounte Murray will now call Atlanta his basketball home that came in a somewhat unexpected move.

Hawks receive:

• Dejounte Murray
• Jock Landale

Spurs receive: 

• Danilo Gallinari
• 2023 first-round pick (via Charlotte from New York, protected)
• 2025 first-round pick
• 2026 pick swap
• 2027 first-round pick

Rudy Gobert, traded to Timberwolves from Jazz

The former Utah big man was sent to the Timberwolves in a monster deal.

Timberwolves receive:

• Rudy Gobert

Jazz receive:

  • Malik Beasley
  • Patrick Beverley
  • Leandro Bolmaro
  • Walker Kessler
  • Jarred Vanderbilt
  • 2023 first-round pick
  • 2025 first-round pick
  • 2026 pick swap
  • 2027 first-round pick
  • 2029 first-round pick (protected)

James Harden , traded from Brooklyn Nets to Philadelphia 76ers

Brooklyn receives:

  • Ben Simmons
  • Seth Curry
  • Andre Drummond
  • 2022 first-round pick (unprotected)6
  • 2027 first-round pick (protected)

Philadelphia receives:

  • James Harden
  • Paul Millsap

James Harden, traded from the Houston Rockets to the Brooklyn Nets

ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 27: James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets looks on during the game against the Atlanta Hawks on January 27, 2021 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Deal that brought James Harden from Space City to Brooklyn was absolutely massive.

  • Nets receive: G James Harden from Rockets | 2024 second-round pick from Cavs
  • Nets trade: C Jarrett Allen & F Taurean Prince & rights to Aleksandar Vezenkov (57th overall pick in 2017) to Cavs | G Caris LeVert, F Rodions Kurucs, three first-round picks (2022, 2024 and 2026) & four first-round pick swaps (2021, 2023, 2025, 2027) to Rockets
  • Rockets receive: G Caris LeVert, F Rodions Kurucs & three first-round picks (2022, 2024 and 2026) and four first-round pick swaps (2021, 2023, 2025, 2027) from Nets | G Dante Exum & 2022 first-round pick (via Milwaukee) from Cavs
  • Rockets trade: G James Harden to Nets
  • Cavs receive: C Jarrett Allen, F Taurean Prince & rights to Aleksandar Vezenkov (57th overall pick in 2017) from Nets
  • Cavs trade: G Dante Exum & 2022 first-round pick (via Milwaukee) to Houston | 2024 second-round pick to Brooklyn

Considering how much it took to trade each of these players, the amount the Nets will seek, and potentially garner, for Kevin Durant could be unprecedented in its size of return. However, therein lies the major obstacle; Kevin Durant’s prodigious greatness. Re-read that sentence if you need to and let it marinate. Despite what some may think, Kevin Durant is solidified as an all-time great , and greatness of that level is hard to come by and as such it cost a premium to obtain it, something that I am sure the Brooklyn Nets are undoubtedly tacitly aware of. Due to this it will make trading Durant difficult because the teams that are contending teams, like the Suns and the Heat, will have to give up significant portions ods what made them contenders to acquire KD. Teams that are still sending to contender status would likely have to gut their teams in a potential KD acquisition, which may elevate them to a middling playoff/play-in team. Either scenario is not optimal for the receiving team or Kevin Durant, meaning a deal between just two teams will not get this done. It will likely have to involved 3 to 5 teams in order to generate the player and draft assets in order to somewhat make it somewhat worth their while to honor their superstars request.

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