It has now been several weeks since Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant asked to be traded, and things have been moving very slowly on that front.
At first, the Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors were rumored to have the most interest in him, but nothing came even remotely close to happening.
Days ago, the Boston Celtics got in on the sweepstakes, and now, the Philadelphia 76ers may be another possible landing spot for Durant.
Some 'high-ranking members' of the 76ers remain interested in discussing a Kevin Durant trade with the Nets. 👀 pic.twitter.com/fQ4BB2pgTY
— theScore (@theScore) August 10, 2022
For the past few seasons, the Sixers have been one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, and they possess Joel Embiid, a bona fide MVP-caliber player and arguably the best big man in the game.
Would it be wise for Philly to risk what it currently has and make a major move for Durant?
The Sixers Are Going Nowhere With The Group They Have
On paper, the 76ers look like a legitimate championship contender.
In addition, Tyrese Maxey has emerged as a young impact player, averaging 17.5 points on 48.5 percent overall shooting and 42.7 percent from 3-point range, plus 4.3 assists per game this past season.
But they’re also a fatally flawed team.
Harden saw his production drop big time in the 2021-22 campaign, as he shot 40.2 percent from the field and 32.6 percent from downtown.
He has also continued his track record of playing poorly in must-win games, as he took just nine shots and scored only 11 points when the Miami Heat eliminated Philly in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Stephen A. Smith on James Harden and Doc Rivers after the Philadelphia 76ers were eliminated by the Miami Heat. 🏀🔥 pic.twitter.com/yL3YVij1dp
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) May 13, 2022
The Sixers can’t expect to beat the Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, or Brooklyn Nets (with Durant and Kyrie Irving) in the playoffs with the group they currently have.
They need to go for it and aim for Durant in order to complete the “process” they’re so fond of talking about.
What Could Be A Fair Trade Offer For Durant?
The Nets are reportedly asking for a king’s ransom in return for Durant, but no one will likely offer them that much for him.
If they’re serious about getting rid of the former 2014 league MVP, they’ll have to lower their offer as training camp starts to approach.
Harris would be a good starting point, and perhaps the Nets would also demand Maxey.
Including Maxey in a potential Durant trade wouldn’t be wise for Philly though, as he is just 21 years of age.
Instead, how about the Sixers include Matisse Thybulle, who has emerged into an energetic 3-and-D wing off the bench for them?
The Nets would then want multiple future first-round draft picks, so the Sixers would likely have to include at least three of them.
Thybulle and Harris for Durant work, salary-wise, according to ESPN’s NBA trade machine.
The risks with this trade are that Durant will turn 34 at the end of this summer and has played in just 90 games over the last two seasons.
Three years after tearing his Achilles, he may be injury-prone, but his production and efficiency certainly haven’t suffered even one bit.
Durant could be just the man to deliver the Sixers their first world championship since 1983.