Rumour has it that the 2023 trading deadline is only three weeks away. Of course, curious facts about Bojan Bogdanovich or Jakob Poeltl have appeared from time to time, but at the moment the stars are not available.
For teams hoping to land franchise-changing talent, the best opportunity to make a deal may have already passed.
Last summer, Kevin Durant stunned the NBA community when he demanded a trade from Brooklyn. After some dramatic twists and turns, Durant and the Nets eventually decided
So far this agreement has worked well for both parties. Before he suffered a knee injury in early January, Duran was playing at the MVP level, averaging 29.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game. Brooklyn remains in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race, and he looked like a contender when he was completely healthy.
As for the teams that failed to get Durant during this period, the results were mixed. Which general manager should have the deepest regret seeing Durant in a Nets jersey?
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Kevin Durant’s Trading Regret Rating
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported in late July that the Celtics were in talks with the Nets, and The Athletic’s Shams Charania revealed that Boston had offered a package based on Jaylen Brown. Brown’s inclusion and a few first-round picks could have easily put the Celtics in the lead.
However, they never seemed to pass the preliminary stage, which may have been a blessing in disguise. Boston has the best record in the league and is considered the favourite for the championship.
The Celtics are fine. There are no regrets here.
The Golden State had the pieces to take part in Durant’s draw, and the team’s stars were reportedly considering the idea of a reunion. As one source told The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson II when asked about the possibility of a trade, “I mean, it’s Kevin fucking Durant.”
The Warriors are slightly above the Celtics because they have struggled to find consistency, but they are still the reigning champions. Indeed, it’s unclear if the front office ever seriously considered the idea of adding Durant.
New Orleans has become an intriguing location for Durant due to its large volume of trading assets and the potential to compete for titles in the next few years.
But the Pelicans were never going to turn down Brandon Ingram, according to NOLA.com’s Christian Clarke, ruling out any possibility of a deal with Durant. Ingram was a central player in their takeover, and at 25, he has a bright future ahead of him.
While a Durant-Zion Williamson combo would be interesting to watch, you can’t blame the Pelicans too much for striving for sustained success with their current core.
Miami was one of two teams on Durant’s original wish list. according to Wojnarowski. (Don’t worry – we’ll talk about something else.)
The problem was that The Heat didn’t have a great centre section. Tyler Herro is the Sixth Man of the Year winner, but he’s not the kind of guy who can push a Durant deal over the finish line.
Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo will make Miami a strong postseason contender, but the Heat are not on the same level as the Celtics or Bucks. They must be a little sorry, given that the team is in a strange middle ground.
It wasn’t considered the most likely stop for Durant, but Toronto continued to hide in the background after his trade request. Multiple reports indicated that the Raptors didn’t want to include Scotty Barnes in the trade package, so those conversations didn’t go too far.
Toronto is now five games under .500 and in contention for a place in the Play-In Tournament. It’s unclear if the team will be a buyer or a seller by the deadline, as there’s no clear path to start a recovery or become a credible threat in the East.
At the very least, Durant would bring clarity to the Raptors’ timeline. They could focus on winning Durant on a contract for at least four seasons.
Trading for Durant wouldn’t be as easy as pulling the trigger on a deal with Kawhi Leonard, but has Toronto been aggressive enough in its pursuit?
And here is another command of wishes. Phoenix made sense as a landing spot for Durant, but after the Suns re-signed DeAndre Ayton, they virtually eliminated any chance of catching Durant, according to Charania.
Oh, what could have been for the injured Suns. Phoenix has lost 12 of their last 14 games. Devin Booker is stuck on the sidelines. Chris Paul no longer performs as “Point God”. Ayton took a step back after strange contract negotiations. Jay Crowder is still just… hanging out?
It’s fair to wonder if the Suns’ championship window will close with other Western Conference contenders. Durant could help them keep it open a little longer.