Well, Tsai has insisted that the latter isn’t happening. So does that mean the Nets will finally drop their asking price, viewed as way over-the-top by some?
It could mean exactly that. And if it does, then the Heat stand a chance to benefit, per Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald.
For starters, the last thing the Nets want is for this situation to drag into training camp. Frankly, the NBA doesn’t, either. After all, the league doesn’t really want to finalize its 2022-23 schedule until it knows where Durant will play.
Anyway, back to the Heat.
The fact the Nets would rather find a deal for Durant sooner than later — and that Durant reportedly has Miami as one of his preferred destinations — could give the Heat an edge. They may not have to mortgage the farm, or even surrender an All-Star, to make a KD deal a reality.
So far, they have not been willing to part with Jimmy Butler or Bam Adebayo in a trade for Durant, and that’s not about to change. If you’re going to get Durant, the idea is to pair him with Butler (and preferably, Adebayo as well).
And by rule, the Nets can’t acquire Adebayo in a Durant trade without also dealing Ben Simmons (somewhere), due to the Designated Rookie Extension rule.
Either way, for now, it appears Tyler Herro would be the centerpiece of the Heat’s trade package, as relayed by Chiang and several others. The Nets are also seeking picks, of course, and that might mean the Heat would have to get a third team involved.
The competition for Durant is sure to be stiff, but is not yet serious. He has been linked to the Celtics, Raptors, Wizards and even the 76ers. Supposedly, the Nets have spoken to just about every opposing team.
But the Heat are the only team with Pat Riley as president, and he has a way of getting things done. If he truly wants Durant, and the Nets truly lower their asking price, everyone else really should watch out for Miami.