Kevin Durant is asking for a trade from the Brooklyn Nets, and the Miami Heat is apparently one of the teams the superstar forward is eyeing as a new home.
Last year, the Heat reached the NBA Conference Finals and came one shot away from making the NBA Finals for the second time in three years.
President Pat Riley, 77, is eager to bring Miami its first championship since 2013 and said the Heat would be “proactive” in trying to upgrade the roster this offseason.
There’s no bigger swing he could take than trying to bring Durant, 33, to South Florida.
The 6-foot-10, 240-pound All-Star has four years left on his deal and is due $44.1 million, $47.6 million, $51.2 million and $54.7 million during the next four seasons. This sort of long-term control gives the Nets some leverage in potential negotiations because it would be difficult for Durant to threaten to sit out with so much time and money left on his contract.
It means Durant is going to come with a hefty price tag. and Brooklyn will try to get a legitimate star back in any potential deal.
The Heat has two players who clearly fit into this category — forwards Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo — plus 22-year-old guard Tyler Herro, who just won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award last season.
Butler, if Miami would be willing to trade him after he just brought the Heat to the brink of the 2022 NBA Finals, would alone rival anything anyone could offer. Herro is a tantalizing up-and-coming player, even if he’s not an All-Star yet, and could be the centerpiece of an interesting package of young players and draft picks. Adebayo, 24, was an All-Star in 2020 and would be an ideal running mate for superstar guard Kyrie Irving, but Miami would have to take back Nets point guard Ben Simmons in the deal because of an NBA rule preventing teams from having two players acquired via a trade who received rookie extensions.
What should the Heat part with to pull Durant out of New York?