NBA Trade Rumors: Execs Believe Kevin Durant Wouldn't Want to Go to Pelicans

Adam WellsJuly 12, 2022

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25: Kevin Durant of Brooklyn Nets warms up before NBA playoffs between Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn of New York City, United States on April 25, 2022. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The New Orleans Pelicans might have the ability to meet the Brooklyn Nets' asking price in a trade for Kevin Durant, but there's uncertainty if the 12-time All-Star would want to play for the organization.

Per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, some NBA executives speaking about a potential Durant trade said they don't believe he would play for the Pelicans if the team made an offer to the Nets.

When Durant first made his trade request on June 30, speculation immediately began about which teams could make a strong enough offer to the Nets for a player of his caliber.

The Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat are among Durant's preferred landing spots, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Pelicans can build an offer around one of Zion Williamson or Brandon Ingram. Williamson has since been taken off the board at least for the next six months after signing a five-year extension with New Orleans on July 6.

ESPN's Andrew Lopez said on the July 6 episode of The Hoop Collective podcast (h/t Net Income of NetsDaily) he assumes there have been talks between the Pelicans and Nets.

Ingram would satisfy at least one key part of Brooklyn's demands for Durant. Per Wojnarowski (starts at 1:25 mark), the Nets want "an All-Star-level player" and multiple first-round draft picks and/or pick swaps to trade the 33-year-old superstar.

The 24-year-old Ingram was named an All-Star during the 2019-20 season. He has averaged at least 22.7 points per game in each of the past three seasons and has shot at least 38.1 percent from three-point range three times in six years.

Of course, if Durant is looking at ready-made title teams like the Suns and Heat as potential destinations, the Pelicans might not appeal to him because it's unclear how ready they are to be a championship contender.

Williamson has as much upside as any player in the NBA, but he's only played 85 games in three seasons.

The Pelicans made the playoffs last season after winning two play-in games, but their 36-46 record doesn't inspire a lot of confidence about them elevating into the top half of the Western Conference playoff race in 2022-23.