Nets maintain contact with Suns but don’t rush Kevin Durant trade

The Suns remain in contention to land megastar Kevin Durant, but Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks and team owner Joe Tsai are not rushing and remain committed to exploring all trade options to secure the best deal, have league sources said. New York Post on Sunday.

Nets general manager Sean Marks is reportedly awaiting a young All-Star and multiple draft picks, which means the Suns will have to include a third team as a trading partner as Phoenix is ​​unlikely to be ready to lose Devin. Booker.

The 12-time All-Star Durant has four years left on his $198 million contract, but is exploring a trade package.

However, ESPN’s Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported the same day that the Nets were in “constant contact” with the Suns and Miami Heat after Durant requested a trade on the first day of free agency on June 30. .

He has Phoenix and Miami among his favorite destinationsbut the deal might need a suitable third or fourth trading partner to make it happen.

But the trade is not considered imminent or at an advanced stage.

“Two of the teams Kevin Durant would love to play with: Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat, they’ve both been in pretty constant contact, I’m told,” Wojnarowski said on SportsCenter.

“I think both teams, individually, may not have enough to make a deal with Brooklyn without being able to come out and move pieces in three-team or four-team trades.”

Superstar players have a recent history of weight in choosing their next ideal landing spot when requesting trades:

  • James Harden was traded by the Houston Rockets to the Brooklyn Nets in January 2021, then from the Nets to the Philadelphia 76ers last February.
  • Anthony Davis left New Orleans to be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in July 2019.
  • Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Los Angeles Clippers the same month as Davis.

But the Nets apparently have the edge on where Durant could go next.

Wojnarowski added that the Nets are evaluating what Durant could order in exchange after several All-Star player trades since the start of free agency.

The Utah Jazz traded center Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for five players and five draft picks, including four first-rounders (for 2023, 2025, 2027, 2029 protected) and a 2026 draft pick trade on Friday.

The day before, the Atlanta Hawks acquired former San Antonio Spurs All-Star guard Dejounte Murray and center Jock Landale, and Atlanta received four draft picks, including three first rounders (2023, 2025, 2027 protected) and a pick swap in 2026.

The Nets have no first-round picks in the next five years and had none in the June draft. It’s because of Harden’s acquisition of Houston. When the Rockets dealt Harden, the Nets sent the Rockets their unprotected first-round picks in 2022, 2024 and 2026, as well as their trades of unprotected first-round picks in 2023, 2025 and 2027.

“I think Brooklyn is going to try to exhaust four, five first-round picks, four pick trades, but also at least one All-Star-level player,” Wojnarowski said.

“You look at who’s available, how they do those deals, they’re usually going to be complex deals and take time to put together, but Brooklyn knows they have time on their side now, not just in the offseason. , but Kevin Durant has four years left on his contract.Brooklyn will talk all the way through the league and get what they know will be a monumental deal if they want to trade Kevin Durant.

The Suns will not have their All-Star Devin Booker in any trade offer because he is still in his max rookie contract, and there is a collective bargaining agreement rule that prevents a roster from having two players on max rookie contract from their previous team. The Nets got three-time All-Star Ben Simmons from the Harden trade, and Simmons was on a max rookie contract from the Philadelphia 76ers before heading to Brooklyn. Additionally, Booker just agreed to the terms of his four-year, $224 million supermax extension on Thursday, so he remains in Phoenix.

The Suns have control over their future first-round draft picks for the next five years and beyond, which could be part of a trade package for Durant.

There has been widespread speculation that the Nets could see Phoenix starting wing and this year’s Defensive Player of the Year finalist Mikal Bridges in a trade package, and possibly the other All-Star of the Suns Chris Paul. The Nets would not be interested in restricted free agent Deandre Ayton for a Phoenix sign and trade due to ABC statutes, and it would be instantly capped at the luxury tax “apron”.

And it’s not just because of the skills of the 23-year-old great.

The ABC has a rule called “base year pay”, which reduces a player’s outgoing salary to half of their new starting salary.

Ayton has just completed his four-year rookie contract, and a max offer for him would start at around $31 million. If he signs a max deal with a team that traded for him, the value of his outgoing salary at the Suns side would count for half of the amount he will earn in the first season of his new contract.

As for the apron, any team that might get Ayton in a signing and a trade can’t exceed the 2022-23 season’s luxury tax threshold set at $150.26 million in salary immediately after or at all. time after the exchange.

That’s why there’s been a lot of speculation about a three- or four-team trade involving potential suitors with a salary cap. The cap is $123.65 million for teams next season.

This pending Durant trade could last all summer or so, not in a matter of days like the Suns or fans of other teams would hope.

Do you have any advice for us? Contact the reporter at [email protected] or at 480-486-4721. Follow his Twitter @iam_DanaScott.

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