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Kevin Durant Trade Rumors: Heat, Nets Talks Were 'Hot and Heavy' Before Cooling Off

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJuly 12, 2022

Justin Ford/Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets and Miami Heat have hit a temporary impasse regarding discussions over a potential Kevin Durant trade, according to the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson.

Jackson spoke to a source who said negotiations were "hot and heavy" between the two teams but reported they "cooled when Brooklyn wasn't satisfied with Miami's potential package."

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski described Miami on NBA Today (via RealGM) as "one of the most determined teams to try to acquire [Durant] since he asked for that trade."

Wojnarowski reported June 30 that the Heat and Phoenix Suns were on Durant's list of preferred landing spots following his trade request from the Nets.

From Miami's perspective, executing the deal might be all but impossible unless a third team becomes involved.

As fans quickly discovered, the Nets couldn't get Bam Adebayo without having first secured a new home for Ben Simmons. The most recent collective bargaining agreement stipulates a team can't have two players on a designated rookie exception who were both acquired via trade.

The Athletic's Sam Amick also reported July 1 that Durant "would only want to play on a Heat team that includes Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Kyle Lowry."

If you're the Nets, trading a top-five star in Durant for a package that's headlined by Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson simply isn't attractive. Even when you factor in whatever draft picks Miami includes, that wouldn't be enough to set Brooklyn up well in the short term.

Roping another team or two into the situation could help the Heat sweeten the pot for the Nets, or it could facilitate the departure of Simmons to clear a path for Adebayo to Brooklyn.

Based on Amick's report, the latter scenario, however, would raise questions about whether Miami would still be an attractive destination for Durant if Adebayo is gone.

The long-term outlook in South Beach looks a lot different if Durant's best co-stars are Butler and Lowry, who will be 33 and 36, respectively, when the 2022-23 season tips off in October.

The Heat have done well to attract marquee stars in the past, but pulling off a Durant trade might be too big of an ask for even Pat Riley.

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