The Miami Heat were considered one of the favorites to trade for Kevin Durant when the 12-time All-Star wanted to be dealt by the Brooklyn Nets, but their actual level of interest may have been overstated.
Appearing on Stugotz's STUpodity podcast (h/t Jonathan Sherman of Heat Nation), the Heat "never really aggressively pursued" Durant because they "would have had to gut multiple players" from their roster to make it happen.
Durant's business manager, Rich Kleiman, told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on June 30 his client requested a trade from the Nets.
In the same report, Wojarnowski noted Durant had the Heat and Phoenix Suns among the teams on his list of preferred destinations.
It became unlikely that Miami would be able to pull off a deal for Durant without including Bam Adebayo. Barry Jackson and Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald noted the Heat were "disinclined" to deal their 25-year-old All-Star center.
B/R's Jake Fischer said on his podcast in July (h/t NBC Sports' Kurt Helin) that Miami's front office was exploring deals to acquire more draft picks to potentially make a trade offer for Durant—or Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell—more attractive since they don't want to move Adebayo.
Appearing on The Rich Eisen Show this week (starts at 1:10 mark), Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported the best offer the Nets received for Durant was from the Boston Celtics and consisted of Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, draft picks and potentially one more rotation player.
Rich Eisen Show @RichEisenShow
What happened in the Monday meeting with <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BrooklynNets?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BrooklynNets</a> brass, head coach Steve Nash and Kevin Durant?<a href="https://twitter.com/ShamsCharania?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ShamsCharania</a> took us inside the talks that led KD to stay in New York:<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBA?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBA</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBATwitter?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBATwitter</a> <a href="https://t.co/ZwDkHruWMm">pic.twitter.com/ZwDkHruWMm</a>
Nets general manager Sean Marks announced Tuesday that he, Durant, Kleiman, head coach Steve Nash and team governor Joe Tsai "agreed to move forward with our partnership" after a meeting in Los Angeles.
Next season will mark the first year of the four-year, $194 million extension Durant signed with the Nets in August 2021. They will be looking for a better result in 2022-23 after going 44-38 and being swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Celtics.
Durant, Kyrie Irving and a potentially healthy Ben Simmons have a lot to prove this season. They can be a formidable trio that puts the Nets among the best teams in the Eastern Conference.