Why Brandon Ingram Is Ideal Kevin Durant Trade Target

Brooklyn Nets, New Orleans Pelicans, Brandon Ingram, Kevin Durant, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Brooklyn Nets are stuck between a rock and a hard place regarding the future of former NBA MVP Kevin Durant. Even though they have him locked down for the next four seasons, his trade request has thrown a wrench into their plans.

Not only do they possibly have to trade away one of the greatest scorers in NBA history, but they might also have to find a taker for Kyrie Irving, his enigmatic and volatile best friend. Even if Irving was willing to stay and play for them, Brooklyn has already shown a disdain for committing to the talented, but unpredictable guard.

One would think that trading a player of Durant’s caliber would be a great way to jumpstart a rebuild with multiple first-round picks and young players coming back in return.

After all, the Utah Jazz just landed a king’s ransom from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for former Defensive Player of the Year, Rudy Gobert, and Durant should be several notches above the Stifle Tower in terms of value both on the court and in trades.

While Durant doesn’t have a no-trade clause, it’s become apparent through the last few seasons that superstars can essentially dictate where they will be traded. By way of threatening to sit out, a star player can essentially tank his own trade value to ensure that he won’t be traded to certain teams.

LATEST NBA NEWS AND RUMORS: This Nets-Pelicans Trade Sends Kevin Durant To New Orleans

Even if he was willing to play for any team that moved for him, trading for Durant only makes sense for a handful of squads. Squads still in the fledgling stages of their rebuild have no reason to blow up their young core to acquire his services, as he’ll drag any team out of the lottery but likely won’t be able to lead a depleted roster to a title on his own.

That eliminates a multitude of teams, including the Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic, and Detroit Pistons. Other organizations could compete with Durant in tow but don’t have the necessary assets to land him. This includes the Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, and Dallas Mavericks for example.

Durant has already dubbed the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat as his preferred landing spots. The Heat are short on long-term assets and will find it nearly impossible to conjure up a package more enticing to the Nets than the Suns can.

LATEST NBA NEWS AND RUMORS: This Nets-Pelicans Trade Sends Kevin Durant To New Orleans

There is a team out there that has the perfect blend of win-now pieces and future assets to both trump Phoenix’s best possible offer and still be among the title favorites with Durant in tow: the New Orleans Pelicans.

New Orleans has a bona fide future cornerstone in Brandon Ingram that they field as the centerpiece of their trade package and would still have plenty of talent remaining between Zion Williamson and CJ McCollum to support Durant on his title push in the Big Easy.

LATEST NBA NEWS AND RUMORS: This Nets-Pelicans Trade Sends Kevin Durant To New Orleans

By way of their previous trades dealing away Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis, the Pelicans also have possession of six first-round picks in the next three years that they can use to sweeten the pot.

If New Orleans hasn’t reached out yet, then the Nets might want to offer them a deal themselves, as it’ll be pretty difficult to find a better offer than the ones that the Pellies can manage.