Heat Rumors: Kevin Durant Trade Interests MIA More Than Deal for Nets' Kyrie Irving

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJune 27, 2022

BROOKLYN, NY - APRIL 25: Kevin Durant #7 hi-fives Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets during Round 1 Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs on April 25, 2022 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

As the futures of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving with the Brooklyn Nets remain in flux, one Eastern Conference contender is reportedly more interested in the former.

According to Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald, the Miami Heat have "far more interest in acquiring Durant than Irving."

Chiang noted Irving's lack of availability in recent years. He appeared in 20 games in 2019-20 due in part to a shoulder injury, 54 games in 2020-21 in part because of personal reasons and 29 games last season because he remained unvaccinated against COVID-19.

That Miami doesn't seem particularly keen on Irving is notable because ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday that the Heat were among the teams the point guard was interested in as sign-and-trade destinations along with the Los Angeles Lakers, L.A. Clippers, New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks and Philadelphia 76ers.

Wojnarowski added the qualifier that the seven-time All-Star "isn't necessarily a priority for all of them."

The deadline for Irving to make a decision on his $36.5 million player option for the 2022-23 campaign is Wednesday, and Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News reported Monday that the Nets gave him permission to speak to other teams about sign-and-trade deals.

"The belief among both league and player circles is that Irving is gone," Winfield wrote.

Chiang reported Miami isn't willing to part with "top assets" to land the Duke product, naming Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro.

The Heat aren't the only team without much interest in Irving, as Wojnarowski reported Monday that the Lakers are the only organization planning to look into a sign-and-trade. Another way he could join the Purple and Gold is by declining his option and signing for the $6 million taxpayer mid-level exception.

As for Durant, Wojnarowski reported "numerous teams around the league are preparing to pursue" him should he make a trade request.

If Durant, one of the best players in league history, joined the Heat, they would certainly be favorites in the Eastern Conference considering they reached the 2020 NBA Finals and 2022 Eastern Conference Finals.

The 12-time All-Star would make Miami all the more formidable as it competes with the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks and others for a spot in the NBA Finals.