It’s old news that Kevin Durant wants out of Brooklyn — preferring to pair with Devin Booker in Phoenix or in Miami alongside Jimmy Butler.
New reports are saying the Nets want no part of Suns restricted free agent Deandre Ayton in a swap for Durant, so this is where it gets interesting.
Apparently, the Utah Jazz wants Ayton to replace recently dealt big man Rudy Gobert and that interest may help facilitate a three-team trade between the Jazz, Nets, and Suns, landing KD in Phoenix.
How the package would look
Suns receive: Kevin Durant
Nets receive: Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, and four 1st round picks from PHX + two 1st round picks from Utah
Jazz receive: Deandre Ayton
This deal has some legs because everyone wins. Ayton for a couple of first-rounders is actually a steal considering the minuscule odds any of those two future selections turn out to be 17 and 10 a night. A big man with a polished face-up game doesn’t grow on trees, so it makes for a solid pickup in Utah. Plus, Ayton will get much better with an increased role provided he doesn’t take a step backward in his development without Chris Paul.
But for Brooklyn, everyone has to look at Kevin Durant’s exit as a commitment to a rebuild. What better way is there to launch a rebuild than to cash out on a 34-year-old small forward with major injury history to the tune of six draft picks and two really good players? No one expects Durant’s durability to be an issue going forward, but six first-rounders and poaching two young studs from the Suns? They’re making out well in this trade. And we know, the final trade is likely to include a bit more their way. So don’t freak out, Nets fans.
And last, but certainly not least, the Suns. The team landed the final piece to a championship contender. Most in basketball would suggest pairing Durant with Devin Booker is a recipe to dominate the western conference until KD’s deal expires in 2026. They’d likely be right — no duo would stop them the way the rest of that Suns roster looks. Loaded.
Multiple reporters have said the Suns have made four trade offers for KD thus far — all of which were denied and “not close.” But if a third party gets involved to sweeten that haul? We just might see Durant in the desert.