Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant could be a trade target for the Washington Wizards, according to Sam Amico of Hoops Wire. It would be a stretch, because despite the fact that Washington is his hometown, Durant has never indicated that he was interested in playing for the Wizards.
(Watch out for the Wizards)— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) July 18, 2022
So why would the Wizards be a trade target, at least for the Nets? As Amico wrote, “the Nets aren’t determined to trade Durant to he Suns or Heat. They’ll trade him to … [a] non-playoff team if it means they get what they want in return.” Amico added that among Durant’s possible preferred destinations, the Miami Heat offered a package including Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson and picks, though Brooklyn hasn’t expressed interest.
If the Wizards want Durant, who will earn $44.1 million this season, they will likely have to give up Kristaps Porzingis ($33.8 million) and additional players to keep salaries balanced. Of course, Washington will be expected to give up a draft pick or more to sweeten the offer.
Finally, Washington has an incentive to try to get Durant or his camp to feel interested. Bradley Beal is the franchise player with a no-trade clause in his contract. On the one hand, that clause shows that Beal is committing himself to D.C. and other teams will think twice before asking President of Basketball Operations Tommy Sheppard about him. But on the other, if the Wizards don’t try to ask the Nets (assuming Beal wants this), and they continue to play below average to average basketball? Beal could force a trade to almost any team he wants and Washington would be with little leverage.
I’m lukewarm about the prospect of the Wizards being in another race to woo KD. But you never know what the future holds. Let us know what you think in the comments below.