The Miami Heat are one team that has been connected to Kevin Durant from the start since he requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. Throughout the process, they have also been referred to as the team most determined to acquire the former NBA MVP.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Since Pat Riley has been running the show, he has shown a willingness to do anything if it means acquiring a superstar-level player. Even if that means clearing out the entire roster, if it puts the team in a better position to win an NBA Championship, he will do it.
To acquire Durant, he is going to have to get very creative. The Heat don’t have the draft capital that other teams possess to appease the Nets as they enter what could be considered a soft rebuild. One of their best trade assets, Tyler Herro, has arguably the widest-ranging opinions of any players in the NBA.
Brooklyn reportedly would like to acquire Bam Adebayo in any trade for Durant, but that has hurdles as well. Since Adebayo is a Designated Rookie, the Nets cannot acquire him via trade. While teams are allowed to have two such players on a roster, you cannot trade for two of them, which the Nets have already done with Ben Simmons.
Simmons would have to be moved for the Nets to land Adebayo. If the Heat are determined enough to land Durant, one package that they could try is Adebayo, Herro, Kyle Lowry a 2023 first-round pick, a 2027 first-round pick, a 2028 first-round pick swap and a 2029 first-round pick in exchange for Durant and Simmons.
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The Nets don’t want to include Simmons in a deal as a throw-in, but this would be a tough package for them to turn down. If they believe Herro has a higher ceiling than being a high-scoring sixth man with deficiencies in his game, he would normally be enough as the centerpiece of a package. Acquiring Adebayo along with him in a package, with three first-round picks and a pick swap could be too much to turn down.
Miami would now have a duo of Jimmy Butler and Kevin Durant to carry the team, which makes them instant contenders. Simmons can have a similar impact on the game as Adebayo as a versatile defender but brings elite playmaking to the mix as well.
The Heat would also be keeping all of their depth in this trade, as Gabe Vincent, Max Strus, Omer Yurtseven, Duncan Robinson and Victor Oladipo are a solid group behind the All-Stars. Another center could be needed, but players will join Miami looking to contend for a ring, so any gaps on the roster can be filled with veteran minimum deals.
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