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Kevin Durant Trade Rumors: Some Within 76ers 'Felt Strongly' About Pursuing Nets Star

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVAugust 10, 2022

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The Philadelphia 76ers could enter the sweepstakes for Kevin Durant with the Brooklyn Nets still seeking a trade partner.

"As of earlier this week, there were high-ranking members of the Sixers who've felt strongly about engaging with Brooklyn on a Durant trade," Ian Begley of SNY reported.

A potential deal would "almost certainly" include point guard Tyrese Maxey, per Begley, while Tobias Harris and Matisse Thybulle were also listed as possible options for a trade package.

The 76ers likely won't want to part with Maxey, who recently earned high praise from head coach Doc Rivers.

"He's the most impressive young player I've ever had in 21 years of coaching," Rivers said on The VC Show.

The 21-year-old more than doubled his scoring average in 2021-22 while finishing with 17.5 points and 4.3 assists per game. He especially stood out in the playoffs with 20.8 points per game.

There is still plenty of appeal for Philadelphia in completing a trade and going into 2022-23 with a Big Three of Durant, Joel Embiid and James Harden. They obviously would need to learn how to play together, but that trio combined to win eight of the past 13 scoring titles.

Durant and Embiid would also be under contract through 2025-26, giving an extended window for contention.

Though the Sixers are seemingly always among the best in the Eastern Conference, they haven't gotten past the second round of the playoffs since 2001.

Durant first requested a trade in June and reportedly reiterated the demand for the Nets to choose between him or the combination of head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks, per Shams Charania of The Athletic. Brooklyn continues to seek a deal, with Charania naming the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors as the "most significant candidates."

Philadelphia could still be an intriguing destination if the front office wants to go that path.

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