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Getty Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans heads for the net as Joe Harris #12 of the Brooklyn Nets defends in the second half at Barclays Center

Kevin Durant requesting a trade has shook up the entire NBA. Most of this year’s free agency is hinging on what happens with him and the Brooklyn Nets.

The two teams that Durant has the most interest in playing for is the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat. However, they have reportedly turned down over four offers from the Suns in a Durant trade. Then the Heat remain unlikely because of the Designated Rookie Extension rule: A team can’t have two players acquired via trade who were signed to that type of extension. Both Ben Simmons and Adebayo are on that contract so Simmons would have to be part of any deal. 

However, KD has already commented that he would want Adebayo on any Heat team he was a part of. 

“Durant, it seems, would only want to play on a Heat team that includes Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Kyle Lowry. So even if the Heat were willing to move Butler in a deal as a way of satisfying the Nets’ (understandably pricey) request, doing so would leave Durant discontented from the start,” Sam Amick of The Athletic wrote.

With the two favored destinations likely out for now, it is time to look at any other possible destinations. Oklahoma City has been linked due to the sheer volume of picks they could include. The Toronto Raptors have been reported as lurking as a possibility. The Minnesota Timberwolves were considering Durant before dealing for Rudy Gobert from the Utah Jazz. However, one of the more surprising links for the Nets has had them mentioned with possibly trading for former number one pick with the New Orleans Pelicans, Zion Williamson. 

Zion Williamson to Brooklyn?

On the July 1 episode of The Ringer’s NBA Show, NBA writer Wosny Lambre talked about who he believes could be at the top of Brooklyn’s list. He was asked which young players the Nets should be looking at for a Durant deal. 

“Well obviously, if I’m Brooklyn, I definitely want to roll the dice on Zion (Williamson.) To me, that’s the number one if I can do that. It’s a young guy that is already very freaking good when he actually plays. Yeah, I think Zion is definitely at the top of that list,” Lambre said. 

He also included Scottie Barnes on his list. 

An important note in what he said, though, is when he plays. Williamson has only played 85 games in his first three NBA seasons, including 24 during his rookie season in 2019-20. A torn meniscus in his right knee delayed his debut. He missed the entire 2021-22 campaign with a broken right foot. 

Is Williamson still worth consideration from the Nets? He may have the best upside from some of the other offers. You’d certainly rather have him than Deandre Ayton, right? It is hard to say what happens, but it was an interesting and surprising name mentioned. 

Zion Williamson Extension

Williamson was just signed to a five-year, $193 million designated maximum rookie extension that could earn him as much as $231 million, CAA Sports’ co-head of Basketball Austin Brown told ESPN’s, Adrian Wojnarowski. It also would prevent any deals that would see Williamson teaming up with Simmons, just like the Adebayo trade. 

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Kevin Durant holding out of training camp not off the table: source

Kevin Durant’s boundless love for basketball is not a reason to believe he’ll show up for training camp if the Nets don’t acknowledge his trade request.

That has been the prevailing belief — that Durant, a 12-time All-Star and two-time NBA Finals MVP, is above the idea of holding out of camp because he is a master of his craft and a lover of the game. A source, however, pushed back on the idea that Durant will show up to training camp in September if his request goes unfulfilled.

Durant first made a trade request directly to Nets owner Joe Tsai on June 30, but after more than a month passed by with multiple offers made and none accepted, Durant and Tsai met a second time, this time in London, over the weekend.

Durant doubled down on his request and told Tsai he has lost faith in the direction of the organization and that Tsai must choose between the superstar forward and the pair of general manager Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash, according to The Athletic.

Tsai responded to the report with a tweet: “Our front office and coaching staff have my support. We will make decisions in the best interest of the Brooklyn Nets.”

The Nets have received a number of offers, including a package from the Boston Celtics that included star forward Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and a first-round pick, but the asking price has been too steep. For example, the Nets countered the Celtics and said they must include reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart, another rotation player and additional draft compensation in any deal that includes Brown for Durant.

The New Orleans Pelicans remain interested in a deal for Durant, according to a source, and can put together a compelling package around All-Star forward Brandon Ingram, role players like Herbert Jones, Devonte Graham and Jose Alvarado, and the remaining draft compensation they received from both the Los Angeles Lakers in the Anthony Davis trade and the Milwaukee Bucks in the Jrue Holiday trade.

The Nets asking price in any Durant deal has been steep: an All-Star level player, rotation players and significant draft compensation. The Pelicans, who also have CJ McCollum and Zion Williamson on the roster, are one of few teams who could gut their depth to acquire Durant and still have the infrastructure needed to compete for a deep playoff run.

It remains unclear whether the Nets would move on to trade Kyrie Irving if they strike a deal for Durant. Irving, according to several reports, has made it clear to Nets brass that he wants to stay in Brooklyn even if the team moves on from Durant. The Lakers have been the only interested party in Irving’s services, according to multiple reports, and the Nets have not been open to acquiring Russell Westbrook in an Irving deal, which means they would have to acquire players from a third team, possibly players like Myles Turner and Buddy Hield from the Indiana Pacers.

It is unclear whether or not the Nets would rather just keep Irving, a superstar talent on a one-year deal, than trade him for pennies on the dollar.

And as much as the Nets would like to keep Durant on the roster as he walks into the first year of a four-year, $198 million max contract extension, they run the risk of taking this charade into training camp, where it is not a certainty the superstar forward will show up.


The Daily News cannot confirm a report from Fox Sports’ Ric Bucher saying Ben Simmons left a team group chat after Game 3 of the Nets’ first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics. Bucher said Simmons left the team group chat after Nets players asked him if he would suit up and make his season debut in an elimination Game 4. Simmons never practiced five-on-five after arriving in Brooklyn as part of the James Harden trade, hurt his back while ramping up, needed an epidural to help deal with the pain in his lower back and ultimately underwent back surgery this summer. Simmons, however, did not show up to Game 4 to support his teammates on the bench.


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