Could Kevin Durant be Available for Miami Again?by Jacari McRae June 24, 2022 0 comments
Watching NBA games are fun. It’s great watching the NBA players compete against each other at a high level. Another thing the NBA fans enjoy is the NBA off-season. The off-season is where things get very exciting. There’s pettiness from the players on social media, NBA trades, and free-agent signings. The off-season has allowed fans to remain engaged with the NBA without basketball games. This year, the off-season is already kicking off with fireworks starting with the Brooklyn Nets.
The future of Kyrie Irving has been in question since the Nets’ season ended in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Irving missed the majority of last season because he refused to get vaccinated. He currently has a player option on his deal worth $36.9 million. Irving is currently deciding whether to opt-in opt-out to join the free agency. The Nets’ star point guard could potentially earn more money on a new long-term contract. However, the negotiations between Nets and Irving are reportedly going south. This Irving-Nets drama is now apparently making Kevin Durant reconsider his future with the Nets. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Durant is now considering his future options.
Sources: Kevin Durant is monitoring the Brooklyn Nets’ situation and considering options with his future.
This now opens the path for Kyrie Irving to proceed on finding a new home via opt-in and trade.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 23, 2022
Should Durant decide to request a trade, you can bet the Miami Heat will be in the picture. Since losing to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Heat are looking for another scorer to ease the scoring burden on Jimmy Butler. Butler, who had a great postseason run, was often relied heavily upon to carry the Heat’s offense. Tyler Herro‘s regular-season scoring didn’t translate to the playoffs. And Bam Adebayo was inconsistent on the offensive end. The Heat was lacking a consistent number two option to help Butler. Still, they were only a few points away from clinching a spot in the 2022 NBA Finals.
Making a run for Kevin Durant
Durant is just the player Miami needs to take the scoring pressure off of Butler. He’s one of the greatest scorers to ever play the game. Durant can score anywhere on the floor at an elite level. In the post, Durant has the advantage to shoot over any player that’s guarding him. He can also be lethal as a pick-and-pop option off of pick-and-rolls. Every time Durant steps foot on the floor, he’s getting attention from all five defensive players on the floor. The Nets star forward is coming off a season where he averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.4 assists per game.
Having an interest in Durant is one thing. Acquiring him is another. First, let’s not forget that Durant is on a four-year extension, which was signed a year ago. So, he doesn’t have as much leverage to force his way out. Another thing to keep in mind is the trade packages. To acquire a player like Durant, it’s going to cost a lot to get him. Miami would prefer to get away with just trading Herro, Kyle Lowry, salary filler, and multiple picks. But after losing their picks in past star trades, Brooklyn is going to seek more young assets and picks. The Heat would prefer to keep Adebayo alongside Butler and Durant. However, Miami may need to include Adebayo to have a shot at Durant.
In the end, the cost of acquiring a generational talent is a lot. If there’s anyone who knows, it’s Pat Riley. He shipped Lamar Odom and Caron Butler in a deal for Shaquille O’Neal back in 2005. Riley also sent multiple picks in sign-and-trade deals for Lebron James and Chris Bosh. At age 77, Riley is determined to get his tenth NBA championship and the Heat’s fourth championship. As of Thursday night, Durant has not requested a trade. But if he does, Riley is going to go all-in.
Follow Jacari McRae on Twitter @JMcRae23
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