Kevin Durant's suitors: Which teams can construct the best package for the Slim Reaper 

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant
Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant

Since requesting a trade from the Brooklyn Nets, Kevin Durant has put the entire NBA on notice.

The Nets have no intention of trading their best player for anything less than the right price. They have asked for an All-Star guard, a rising star and multiple first-round picks and pick swaps in return.

The Nets' demands make it difficult for teams to give up so many assets for the 33-year-old superstar forward. However, five teams have emerged as candidates to land him.

Which of these teams can construct the best package, though? Let's have a look, keeping in mind that first-round picks and pick swaps will be part of the deal.

Golden State Warriors

The championship-winning Golden State Warriors could be willing to bring Kevin Durant back to Golden State. Durant spent three years there (2016-2019) and won two championships and Finals MVP awards (2017, 2018).

The Warriors superstars would welcome Durant back. However, it is not likely the franchise will pursue a trade. The reason is their desire to keep the core together for another season and defend the title.

"The idea of them playing together again had to seem impossible when Durant left in free agency in 2019," Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic reported. "It isn’t lost on them how life has contrived an opportunity for them to come full circle.
"Sources made it clear they are fine defending their title with Wiggins, Poole and the young players they’ve been grooming to win with them. But if the universe somehow sets it up so legends reunite, they’d be open to it,”
Is a Kevin Durant-Warriors reunion coming? Highly unlikely.But some key figures would be open to it if somehow the stars aligned…

The best package for Golden State would include Jordan Poole, James Wiseman and Andrew Wiggins.

But the Warriors won't be able to send Wiggins because the Nets already have another player under a rookie max contract extension (Ben Simmons).

In that case, either Klay Thompson or Draymond Green should be part of the deal, which is clearly unlikely to happen.

Miami Heat

Another team to keep an eye on is the Miami Heat. The Heat are inclined to create a massive package for Durant, centered around Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson.

It seems, though, that Miami would have to include Kyle Lowry as well in order to convince the Nets to send Durant to South Beach.

The Heat are not willing to let Jimmy Butler go, while Bam Adebayo can't join the Nets because of his rookie max extension (same as Wiggins).

Consequently, Lowry, who still has two years and $58 million left on his contract, remains the sole All-Star option for the team. Lowry, 36, has seen his production decline.

"If Lowry is in the deal, Miami could be in the best position to make a KD trade happen. … You can do Lowry ... Robinson and Tyler Herro, and I am not sure the Nets are going to get a better deal than that,” an Eastern Conference executive told Sean Deveney of
“If Lowry is in the deal, Miami could be in the best position to make a KD trade happen….you can do Lowry…. Robinson and Tyler Herro, and I am not sure the Nets are going to get a better deal than that.”- Eastern Conference Executive on a KD trade to Miami(Via @SeanDeveney)

Phoenix Suns

Another team that has emerged as the frontrunner to land Durant is the Phoenix Suns. Durant wants to join forces with Chris Paul and Devin Booker and play under coach Monty Williams.

Phoenix could include All-Star big man DeAndre Ayton as well as Malik Bridges and Cam Johnson and construct the massive package the Nets want.

Ayton is a restricted free agent, so he should agree to a new contract anyway and then join the Nets via a sign-and-trade deal. In that case, a third team would need to be added to the mix as a facilitator.

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton,left, and guard Chris Paul
Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton,left, and guard Chris Paul

Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors could construct a package around Scottie Barnes and OG Anunoby, building their own Big Three with Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam.

However, the franchise is not willing to let Barnes go, as they see great potential in the Rookie of the Year. So, the one that could replace him and in the deal would be Siakam.

Brooklyn Nets v Toronto Raptors
Brooklyn Nets v Toronto Raptors

LA Lakers

The LA Lakers could emerge as one of Durant's suitors only if they go all in and trade for both the 12-time All-Star and Kyrie Irving.

If that happens, the Nets would get Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis, while Durant and Irving would join LA. Brooklyn will then ask for more compensation in the form of first-round picks.

For the time being, though, the Lakers have only shown strong interest in Irving. LeBron James has put pressure on the front office to trade for the seven-time All-Star.

Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Durant, who has four years and $194.2M left on his current contract, has the Heat and Suns at the top of his list. However, he likely wouldn't have a problem joining the Raptors or reuniting with the Warriors.

The Suns and Heat could construct the best package. There is also the possibility of Durant remaining with the Nets should Brooklyn reject all offers.

In that case, it could take weeks or even months before the Nets strike a deal to send Durant to another title contender.

Poll : Who is the favorite to trade for Kevin Durant?

Phoenix Suns

Miami Heat

57 votes

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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein
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