On Thursday, Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant made headlines when he reportedly asked to be traded.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 30, 2022
It seems to be the beginning of the end of a disastrous experiment in the borough that many thought would result in at least one NBA championship when it started nearly three years ago.
With co-star Kyrie Irving supposedly on his way out as well, possibly to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Nets seem stuck between a rock and a hard place.
If Irving does indeed leave, it would make no sense to have an aging superstar such as Durant on a team that would be able to do nothing more than make the playoffs and exit early.
Luckily, there are three teams that could give Durant an immediate shot at his third world title, and they may have the capital to make a trade happen.
3. Phoenix Suns
The Suns are a team that Durant reportedly is interested in being traded to, and he could give them what they’ve been missing.
After reaching the NBA Finals last year, the Suns seemed to be a team on a mission and possibly a team of destiny this season, as they finished with a league-best 64-18 record.
But after taking a 2-0 series lead over the less-talented Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the postseason, the Suns folded, getting blown out in the final two games, including an ugly Game 7 wipeout in Arizona.
By the time Phoenix was eliminated from the playoffs, Chris Paul looked old and in decline, while the rest of the squad, which had been playing off some type of irrational confidence since the previous spring, looked crestfallen.
Durant would give the Suns a closer who is still in his prime or at least close to it, as well as someone who has gone all the way before and knows what it takes to do so.
In addition, he would provide them with some much-needed size and length on their frontline.
2. Miami Heat
Durant is reportedly also interested in going to Miami, which is a team that just happens to need someone like him.
For three years, the Heat have been one of the NBA’s better teams thanks to their defense, toughness and culture, but they have lacked offensive firepower, especially come playoff time.
That deficiency was on full display during the Eastern Conference Finals versus the Boston Celtics, when they failed to reach 100 points in three of the final four games of the series.
Durant will allow Miami to go for the jugular early in contests, or at the very least keep pace with another contending team, instead of falling behind and having to work very hard just to have a chance to win in crunch time.
The Heat have also lacked size at the 4, and Durant would rectify that issue in a big way.
1. New York Knicks
This one is not as realistic as the other two, but the Knicks have been rumored to be looking to trade Julius Randle.
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) June 30, 2022
Randle is still relatively young, and although he had an off season, he is still a borderline star whom Brooklyn can build around.
With Jalen Brunson on board and RJ Barrett steadily improving, Durant could give the Knicks a puncher’s chance at doing something special in the playoffs, while giving the team a box office draw it can use to fill seats at Madison Square Garden on a regular basis.