Are the Miami Heat Stopping their Pursuit of Kevin Durant?by Jacari McRae July 27, 2022 0 comments
It’s almost been four weeks since Kevin Durant requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. Since then, teams have been constantly calling the Nets in hopes of striking a deal. The Nets, on the other hand, have been seeking a historic haul in return. So far, nothing has happened. None of the interested teams have come close to meeting the Net’s asking price. We did, however, receive news that the Boston Celtics offered Jaylen Brown for Durant. This most likely could’ve been the Nets trying to drive up the trade market. During trade negotiations, teams can leak news to reporters to gain leverage in trade talks. The question is how the other teams in pursuit would respond to the Celtics news.
The next day, the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson and Anthony Chiang reported the Miami Heat were “moving ahead with its current roster for next season.” They also reported that the Heat has not included Bam Adebayo in offers for Durant and they are disinclined to do so. Keep in mind that the Heat cannot trade Adebayo to the Nets unless Brooklyn trades Ben Simmons back to Miami or another team. The NBA rules prevent teams from having two players via trade who were signed to the Designated Rookie Extension deals. Both Adebayo and Simmons are on rookie extension deals.
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) July 26, 2022
Does this mean that the talks are done? Not likely. Durant is still on the market, and as long as he’s available, the Heat will try to get him. He’s a generational talent and everyone knows how aggressive Pat Riley gets when it comes to elite talent. Miami currently doesn’t have assets enticing enough to do a two-team trade. They would need to add more teams to make a competitive offer.
Could Herro Make it a Deal?
A Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, and multiple pick packages are simply not enough. Especially with the trade return, the Utah Jazz received from the Rudy Gobert move. That trade simply changed the whole trade market. This is why the Nets are asking for a lot in return for their player. However, teams have not been willing to trade their best assets in return so far.
Another reason why the Durant pursuit is not dead right now is because of Herro. If Miami is truly out, then Herro’s max extension would’ve been signed already. Or there would’ve been news of the Heat moving forward with it. As of this morning, that has not been the case. Signing Herro to an extension now will keep him out of trade talks for six months. If Herro is signed, we know Miami is pivoting in a different direction. Herro is the Heat’s best trading chip with Adebayo and Jimmy Butler being untouchable. Both the Heat and Herro have until October 24 to agree to a deal. Otherwise, they’ll have to wait until after next season to reach an agreement on a deal.
In the end, the Heat are still in the mix for Durant. They may not be the favorites in the race but they’re still going to explore pathways to get it done. At least until a rival team steps their offer up or Durant decides it’s best to stay in Brooklyn. Since that hasn’t happened yet, expect to see more storylines involving the Heat and other teams in the Durant pursuit. We’ll see how the story unfolds as the new season approaches.
Follow Jacari McRae on Twitter @JMcRae23
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