Ben Simmons could be the Brooklyn Nets’ missing piece to trade star Kevin Durant. According to journalist Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald newspaper, the first conversations between the Miami Heat and the Nets were intense. However, for any negotiations involving center Bam Adebayo, it is necessary for the Brooklyn team to find a third or fourth team to send Simmons.
NBA rules do not allow a team to have a maximum of two players under contract after the rookie deal expires. In other words, Ben Simmons must leave in exchange for Kevin Durant to join the Heat. Simmons and Adebayo both extended their deals with the Philadelphia 76ers (before getting involved in the trade for James Harden) and Heat, respectively.
The Florida team is high on Durant’s wish list, so the Miami board is looking for a partner to welcome Simmons. As a result, the Heat have “cooled” the negotiations in recent days, but the old interest remains.
Durant asked Nets owner Joe Tsai for a trade on June 30. Thus, since the player made the request, several teams have contacted to find out the “value of the package”. However, many teams were surprised by Brooklyn’s demands. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPNthe team wants several draft picks, as well as a star and a talented young player or two.
The trade that brought Frenchman Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves is said to have set a pattern. In the deal, the Utah Jazz hosted Patrick Beverley, Malik Beasley, Leandro Bolmaro, Jarred Vanderbilt, Walker Kesler and, finally, four first-round selections.
One indication that Adebayo would be among the Nets names is that he received no assurances to the contrary from Heat management. Jackson assures that Miami isn’t ruling out including a player other than Jimmy Butler, but some of them are already aware of the possibility.
Suns and Raptors are still candidates
The Phoenix Suns and Toronto Raptors remain among the top contenders in a trade for Kevin Durant, but Ben Simmons isn’t in any of their plans.
While the Suns have a package that involves Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, in addition to Disorganized, the Raptors would be reluctant to send Scottie Barnes. The Canadian squad would offer Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby, but they don’t want to give up on the young talent, winner of the 2021/22 best signing award.
Finally, the New Orleans Pelicans, like the Brazil Sweater reported today, is irrelevant. Durant would not be interested in playing for the team, but it would not be reciprocated. The Pelicans board reportedly recently spoke to the Nets board to attempt a deal, but they would have had to send Brandon Ingram along with other key players, which made negotiations unworkable.
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