While the NBA world is waiting to learn what Kevin Durant’s future will look like, the New York Knicks have made a series of successful moves since the 33-year-old requested a trade on June 30.
New York’s the frontrunner to land Donovan Mitchell if an agreement can be reached with the Utah Jazz. The guard hasn’t requested a trade like Durant, but there’s a chance that he could be traded before KD. Mitchell lost three-time DPOY Rudy Gobert, but Durant still has Kyrie Irving for the time being.
SNY’s Ian Begley reported that KD’s “desired landing spots” are currently the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia Sixers. The aforementioned team reportedly made an offer to the Brooklyn Nets that was turned down, so their interest in Durant has been known. However, KD expressing interest in playing for the Sixers is interesting.
James Harden left Durant, Irving, and the Nets in February via a trade to the Sixers. Harden’s departure, along with Irving’s unwillingness to get vaccinated, imploded Brooklyn’s ‘Big Three’ and the team’s chances of winning their first NBA title. To the enjoyment of Knicks fans, the Nets’ season ended with the Celtics sweeping them in the first round of the playoffs.
What would a Kevin Durant-Sixers trade mean for the Knicks?
First things first, it would be quite laughable if a KD-Sixers trade were to happen because that’d be a double blow to Nets fans. Around this time last year, Brooklyn was listed as the preseason title favorite. That worked out well, right? Now, Philadelphia could end up with both Harden and Durant. Nets fans would love that.
But there’s also a deeper meaning to look at. Reportedly, there was conflict between Harden and KD during their time together in Brooklyn.
Harden’s decision to leave the Nets could’ve all boiled down to the inconsistencies with the team that was a result of Irving’s vaccine status. Neither Harden nor Durant have spoken publicly about what went on behind the scenes (and why would they?), but perhaps their relationship took a hit while playing together for the second time, or maybe Harden’s desire to leave truly was because of Kyrie.
If the latter was the case, then it’d make sense for Harden and KD to want to team up together for the third time, but to have that duo on the same team again could open up the door for more conflict in the future.
Harden and Durant were spotted together in London recently and reportedly spent time together working out in Barcelona. If their relationship was rocky, it’s reportedly been repaired.
In theory, a Harden-Durant-Embiid lineup would be lethal, but as we’ve learned from the Nets, having that level of talent on one team doesn’t always end up as hoped. Don’t get me wrong, the Sixers should be doing everything that they can to put together a package for KD, but Philadelphia winning a ring shouldn’t be considered a given if Durant were to be traded.
If KD doesn’t head out West to the Phoenix Suns, it’s looking as if he’ll either be staying in the Atlantic Division or going to the Miami Heat. All that the Knicks can do is continue to keep their heads down and lay the foundation for a successful future (with or without Donovan Mitchell).
And hey, a Durant trade could perhaps help New York get the three-time All-Star, so here’s to hoping that something happens sooner rather than later so that the NBA can move forward.