It’s Monday morning, which means it’s time for an all-new information dump about the stagnant Kevin Durant sweepstakes, with this week’s edition coming from The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
The general update is that the Nets are no closer to trading Durant today than they were a week ago when we last got updates on Durant’s status and his ultimatum laid down to Joe Tsai, but we do know a few other teams that have gotten involved in discussions. The Atlanta Hawks did their due diligence and made the only offer they really can — John Collins, De’Andre Hunter, and a first round pick — which obviously wasn’t enough to get Durant but was something they had to try. After dealing three firsts for Dejounte Murray, Atlanta simply doesn’t have the draft capital to even come close to what the Nets want on that front.
However, a different young contending team that does have draft picks to spare has also engaged the Nets, as the Memphis Grizzlies reached out and are looking to make an offer that features a “bevy” of draft picks, but won’t include Desmond Bane or Jaren Jackson Jr., according to Charania.
Fresh off a 56-win season, the Grizzlies have made new inquiries to the Nets about Durant, those sources added. Memphis has five first-round draft picks available (four unprotected selections of its own and one protected via Golden State in 2024) to theoretically utilize in a trade as well as young players like Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane, Ziaire Williams, Brandon Clarke, Kennedy Chandler and David Roddy.
The Grizzlies will not include Jackson or Bane in a potential offer for Durant, sources said, but rather a package built around their bevy of draft picks.Advertisement
Having that many draft picks available to trade is a separator for the Grizzlies compared to most other contenders — Charania notes the Pelicans, likewise loaded with picks, have reached out but won’t include Brandon Ingram — but given the Nets’ desire to remain fairly competitive and their known request for an All-Star in return, Memphis’ effort won’t reach that without Jackson Jr. involved.
Mostly, what we are learning is that teams seem to be willing to call the Nets and offer tons of picks but not the caliber of star Brooklyn wants in return. That’s what should be expected over the next month, as teams aren’t going to make the best offer in the dog days of summer. It’ll be more interesting to see who blinks first and comes to the table with something a little closer to the Nets asking price — right now they’re getting offered 25 cents on the dollar for Durant, but what happens if someone comes with a 75 cent offer. When that finally happens and a star gets put on the table alongside some young talent and/or picks, then Brooklyn will show that to everyone else and start insisting they match or beat that, and we might see an actual bidding war.
However, until that happens, we can expect plenty more reports on offers that have been rejected and players deemed “untouchable” in talks, while Durant continues to be employed by the Nets.