The Hawks have been mentioned in just about every trade rumor that has surfaced, but the one that most interests me is one that doesn’t even quite exist yet. If Kevin Durant were to force his way out of Brooklyn due to Kyrie Irving’s contract negotiations, Travis Schlenk should unload the clip to acquire him.
Durant currently has four years left on his deal with the Nets, so it won’t be easy to pry him away. Still, Irving is in talks for a new contract. Given he’s missed more games over the last three seasons than he’s played, nobody is blaming Nets GM Sean Marks for hesitating. If those talks fall through, KD probably won’t be too happy, since the only reason he’s there was to play with Irving, one of his closest friends in the whole Association.
If you’re a Nets fan, it sucks for you. But teams like the Hawks, and their fans, are praying this situation sours because they’ll be there to reap the benefits. Atlanta has a solid arsenal of young players on affordable deals and plenty of draft capital to make a compelling offer to Brooklyn for Durant’s services. And Vegas agrees: according to BetOnline, the Hawks have the third-best odds to land Durant if he does demand a trade.
Per BetOnline, the odds on Kevin Durant's next team if he leaves Nets:
Trail Blazers 15/2
Worth pointing out that Durant still has four years left on his deal with the Nets.
— Anthony Chiang (@Anthony_Chiang) June 24, 2022
The Heat, who have the best odds, exposed the Hawks’ need for a co-star to pair with Trae Young. And Durant is a top-five player in this league when healthy; the dude is a walking bucket and could immediately make Atlanta favorites to represent the Eastern Conference in the Finals.
Miami is assumedly trying to pair Durant with Jimmy Butler, and Memphis is likely salivating at the thought of paring him with Ja Morant, which should terrify the rest of the league. However, I’d argue that Ice Trae and the Slim Reaper is by far the scariest scenario for the rest of the Association of all those options.
To make a trade of this caliber work, the Nets will garner three young starting-caliber players (John Collins, De’Andre Hunter, Onyeka Okongwu, etc) and multiple first-round picks. And I would have no problem shipping the entire team to Brooklyn for Durant’s services.