Kevin Durant trade rumors: Heat most determined to acquire a star, Raptors won’t betray Scottie Barnes, the report says

It’s been nearly two weeks since Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant requested a swap, sending shockwaves through the league and forcing teams to crawl into the wee hours of free agency to see if they had what it takes had to put together an exchange package. Durant listed the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat as his preferred destinations, but the Nets have not received any trade offers they feel are worthy of Durant’s size. However, while no adequate trade offers have surfaced, reports Adrian Wojnarowski Heat were the most determined Team in an attempt to acquire the former league MVP.

However, it won’t be easy for the Heat to pull off a trade for Durant. A deal for KD would almost certainly have to be to net big star Bam Adebayo. However, due to the designated rookie rule, Teams cannot trade for a player under a designated rookie deal while they already have a rostered player they have acquired under such deals. In this case, that would mean Adebayo and Ben Simmons, who Brooklyn acquired in the James Harden trade last season, couldn’t both be picked up by the Nets.

This is where it gets difficult for the Heat. As Wojnarowski reports, a trade for Miami would have to include a third or fourth team to meet Brooklyn’s asking price because Tyler Herro and some assets certainly won’t make it for a Nets team that has lamented wanting to play next season. Of course, Simmons could be dealt elsewhere while the Nets take on Adebayo, but here that trade opens up to a multi-team deal that’s always complicated to pull off in the league.

Another variable coming into play now could turn the heat out of the Durant Sweepstakes: the Utah Jazz are said to be in it open to trade offers for All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell. Miami has had an interest in Mitchell for quite some time, and before the Jazz even traded all-star big man Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Heat sent a trade offer for Mitchell to Utah Salt Lake Grandstand. This offer was turned down as the Jazz deemed it “insufficient”. It’s unclear what was involved in this trade pack, but perhaps the Heat find the trade easier for Mitchell, who has a lower trade value than Durant.

Meanwhile, another team in the running for Durant, the Toronto Raptors, are rumored to be unwilling to include reigning Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes in a deal for the two-time Finals MVP, according to Wojnarowski. From the Raptors’ perspective, that’s understandable, as Barnes could become an all-star player and the centerpiece of the franchise. While Durant could certainly increase Toronto’s title chances, it must weigh the value of selling its future for short-term gains.

With the Heat — and Phoenix Suns — needing help to facilitate a trade, and the Raptors appearing to be shutting the door on Barnes in a deal, it doesn’t sound like a Durant trade is happening anytime soon.

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