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NBA trade machine: Potential Kevin Durant trades involving Trail Blazers

The Nets forward could be looking to leave.

Boston Celtics v Brooklyn Nets - Game Four
Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets warms up before Game Four of the Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center on April 25, 2022 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets are the center of the NBA offseason when it comes to free agency and trade rumors, largely centered around Kyrie Irving. However, Irving’s future is said to be directly tied to Kevin Durant. If Irving is traded or not given the big extension to align with Durant’s contract, the star forward might request a trade himself. That’s where Portland Trail Blazers star guard Damian Lillard stepped in to turn things up a notch.

Lillard posted an Instagram story of him and Durant with Trail Blazers jerseys, sending the rumor mill flying. But what would a trade to Portland look like for Durant and the Nets? We looked at the NBA trade machine to find out.

Trade 1 Framework

Trail Blazers get: Kevin Durant
Nets get: Eric Bledsoe, Justise Winslow, Josh Hart, draft compensation

The Nets are basically taking on salaries at this point and would request all kinds of first-round picks and pick swaps for giving up Durant in this scenario. It’s hard to see Brooklyn going for this, but the Trail Blazers have enough expiring contract value here.

Trade 2 Framework

Trail Blazers get: Kevin Durant
Nets get: Jerami Grant, Anfernee Simons, Josh Hart, draft compensation

This trade is much more appealing for the Nets, especially with Simons coming into the mix. There’s an issue with him as a restricted free agent, so the Trail Blazers would have to get creative with the contract to include him in any deal. Obviously, this still doesn’t make up for Durant but it’s a more immediate path to contention than a pure salary dump zone.

The big hurdle here is potential draft compensation. Durant is priceless as a player, and we’ve seen the likes of Anthony Davis and Paul George go for massive picks. Durant would be worth much more than that. He made the Warriors give up a first-round pick in the D’Angelo Russell sign-and-trade move, so he’s also going to have a say in the negotiations. We’ll see how this unfolds.