NBA Trade Rumors: Heat 'Scouring' Market for Extra Picks to Acquire Kevin Durant

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJuly 18, 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 Miami Heat reportedly have their eye on draft picks as they attempt to build a trade package to land either Kevin Durant or Donovan Mitchell.

According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Eastern Conference team is "all-in on scouring the league to try to manufacture extra first-round picks to boost their chances" of such a trade for one of the stars from the Brooklyn Nets or Utah Jazz.

Durant remains the biggest domino to fall in the NBA offseason, and ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Get Up that the Nets are still looking to move him even if a reunion remains possible:

"The Nets are still trying to find a deal for Kevin Durant. I think if Kevin Durant came to Brooklyn and said: 'Hey, I've changed my mind. I want to be here, I'm committed to this,' of course they would want him to stay.

"But, if Kevin Durant's not doing that, you're still trying to trade him. You want players who want to be there. You don't want the environment to be filled with players who are unhappy, who don't want to be a part of it. But they've gotta get value for him, and they've got to get significant value for him."

Wojnarowski reported in June that Durant requested a trade directly to Nets governor Joe Tsai, although there has yet to be a move weeks later.

In fact, ESPN's Brian Windhorst previously reported Durant's market "has not been as lucrative as" Brooklyn hoped.

The franchise remains in the headlines after it was one of the most disappointing teams in the league last season. Despite building a star-studded roster, it was swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs after a regular season that included Kyrie Irving missing significant time because he remained unvaccinated against COVID-19, Durant sidelined by injuries and James Harden traded to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Now Durant and Irving are in the middle of trade rumors with Brooklyn's immediate future up in the air.

There is no question Durant is one of the best players of his generation, but Stein noted teams interested in him are more concerned with "their ability to keep him content" instead of the fact that he will be 34 years old throughout the 2022-23 campaign.

Miami is frequently lauded for its culture and has gone to an NBA Finals and two Eastern Conference Finals in the last three seasons. Perhaps competing for a championship alongside Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo could keep Durant happy.

The same could be said for Mitchell, who is a three-time All-Star and game-changing presence himself even if he isn't as prominent of a name as Durant.

The Jazz already traded Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves for multiple players and first-round picks and could be building toward the future with a potential Mitchell deal, which may require some of those draft selections the Heat are reportedly "scouring" the market for as the offseason continues.