5 best fits for Kevin Durant including the Suns, Heat and Blazers

5 best fits for Kevin Durant including the Suns, Heat originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Kevin Durant has reportedly requested an exchange from Brooklyn, just hours before NBA Free Agency opens on Thursday. It’s about as big a news story as they get and what happens from here is a guess. We know he considers the Heat and Suns to be one of his favorite destinations. We also know: Damian Lillard loves the idea of ​​Durant joining him in Portland.

Yet the possibilities seem almost endless. With that in mind, here are five teams that might make sense in basketball terms and why…

Miami Heat

Not only are the Heat a team that Durant would apparently like to play for, and not only do they have the South Beach lifestyle to sell him to, they both need a top scorer and have some fairly enticing pieces to offer. In short, they might justify letting someone go who isn’t named Jimmy Butler or Bam Adebayo. So let’s say it’s like Tyler Herro, Max Strus, Gabe Vincent and a wealth of first round picks. Can you manage that? Maybe not, but they are close enough to winning a title that you could see why they would take what would end up being a pretty big risk. Durant is still great, but he is 34 and has four more years under contract.

Phoenix Suns

Phoenix has Mikal Bridges and limited free agent Deandre Ayton to offer, which isn’t a bad premise at all. Add in some first round picks and you could see why Brooklyn would think about it. As long as they keep Devin Booker and Chris Paul, Durant would show up and immediately raise the ceiling for the Suns, who already had the best record in the West last season. Durant and Paul could help each other polish up their Hall of Fame resumes, while Booker and Durant trading buckets would be super fun to look at.

Portland Trailblazers

Maybe it’s wishful thinking on Lillard’s part, but he clearly must be serious about the opportunity to play with Durant by posting that photo of them in Blazers shirts on Instagram. Portland also happens to have one of the better young players in the NBA in Anfernee Simons, and they just drafted Shaedon Sharpe seventh overall. Simons alone wouldn’t close a deal, but the Nets might not do much better if a young potential star is what they’re looking for as part of the return. Meanwhile, Lillard and Durant would be a must-see TV and the Moda Center, already one of the liveliest arenas in the game, would be a place worth traveling to.

Toronto Raptors

Raptors president Masai Ujiri has proven that he is willing to take some big risks by trading for Kawhi Leonard, who won Toronto an NBA championship before leaving free agency. It would probably cost a lot more than they quoted for Leonard, but suppose it’s a pack around Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby, plus a few sketches. The Raptors would keep Fred VanVleet, plus reigning rookie of the year and future star Scottie Barnes. Durant would come in and immediately make them title contenders if not favorites. Barnes should grow up soon, but he has as much talent as any young player in the league.

Washington Wizards

Yes, let’s go there. First of all, there are two major hurdles for Durant to get to DC. First, in 2016 he had no interest in playing at home. He should change his mind. The Wizards also don’t have a young star like many of the aforementioned teams have to offer. However, this is why it is worth mentioning. Durant is clearly still maligned by many basketball fans and members of the national media for joining the Warriors. Stephen Curry who won Finals MVP this year somehow became an indictment of Durant on every national talk show. Well, LeBron James was in a somewhat similar boat to join the Heat. But then he went home and ended the Cleveland title drought. Few athletes have the ability to do the exact same thing, but Durant is one of them. If he even took the Wizards to the conference finals, it would be the franchise’s best season since the 1970s. Generations of fans hunger for a winner, and if he won in DC, Durant would probably be immortalized here to a greater extent than anywhere else.

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