AP Photo/John Minchillo
The New Orleans Pelicans are reportedly still interested in trading All-Star forward Kevin Durant despite a “steep” asking price from the Brooklyn Nets.
According to Christian Winfield New York Daily NewsThe Nets are looking to get “an All-Star level player, rotation players and significant draft compensation” in exchange for Durant.
Winfield noted that the Pels could offer a trade that checks those boxes with the addition of a former All-Star in Brandon Ingram, as well as Herbert Jones, Devonte’ Graham, Jose Alvarado and draft picks acquired as part of a previous trade with the Los Angeles Lakers. and the Milwaukee Bucks.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (h/t ESPN’s Tim Bontemps) reported in June that Durant’s manager, Rich Kleiman, had requested a trade from KD Brooklyn.
Wojnarowski added that the Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns are believed to be the top two teams on Durant’s wish list.
While the expectation was that teams would be beating down the Nets’ door with huge offers, that didn’t materialize.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (h/t RealGM) reported last month that the Nets didn’t receive any offers to their liking and would prefer to keep Durant rather than trade him if possible.
The Nets are not obligated to make a trade since Durant is under contract through 2026, but Durant has the option to force his hand without reporting if he no longer wants to play in Brooklyn.
If both parties agree that a trade is sound, there may be no team in the NBA better placed to put together a bigger offer for Durant than the Pels.
Thanks to Ingram, Zion Williamson, CJ McCullum and Jonas Valanciunas, he’s a trendy pick to take a big step forward in 2022-23 after sneaking into the postseason last season.
New Orleans went 36-46 last season with Williamson missing the entire year due to injury and McCollum not joining the team until a February deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, so there’s a ton of room for improvement.
As currently constructed, the Pelicans should be a playoff team next season and have a chance to do some damage in the postseason, but Durant makes them championship contenders immediately.
The 33-year-old veteran 12-time All-Star, four-time scoring champion, two-time NBA champion, two-time NBA Finals MVP and one-time NBA MVP continues to play at an elite level.
Although he was limited to 55 games last season due to a knee injury, Durant was spectacular, averaging 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 2.1 three-pointers.
The Pelicans are building something special, but if they can get Durant for one of their stars, some supporting pieces and draft picks, it’s a deal worth making, as it will propel them to the upper echelon. Western Conference.