The Brooklyn Nets’ big three of James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant is no more. Amid the 2021-2022 NBA season, Harden forced his way out of Brooklyn and fell into the laps of Daryl Morey and the Philadelphia 76ers.
While the Nets received the three-time All-Star Ben Simmons in the deal, Simmons has yet to make his Brooklyn debut. Therefore, Durant and Irving had to pick up the slack in the 2022 playoffs. Unfortunately, the superstar duo couldn’t pick up a single win in their first-round series against the Boston Celtics.
After a first-round sweep, reports indicated that Durant had little-to-no contact with Brooklyn’s front office. Meanwhile, Irving had a player option looming, and he was looking into sign-and-trade scenarios before deciding to accept the option or not.
Ultimately, Irving picked up the option to fulfill his commitment to Durant and the Nets. But the superstar power forward requested a trade just a couple of days later. Now, the entire league is wondering what it would take to get their hands on the future Hall of Famer.
It’s unclear whether the Sixers are interested, but Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes recently put together a trade package that could be in play if the Sixers decide they want to enter the KD sweepstakes.
A Look at the Hypothetical Deal
Sixers Send: Tobias Harris, Tyrese Maxey, Matisse Thybulle, 2024, 2026, 2028 first-round pick swaps
Sixers Receive: Kevin Durant
“This deal would be an absolute boon for the Sixers and is probably too good to be true. But it remains to be seen what other offers the Nets will receive, and Maxey might ultimately be the most intriguing building block available.”
As the offseason approached, the Sixers planned to build the team around Joel Embiid, James Harden, and the young guard Tyrese Maxey. While it was reported that Maxey was viewed as a franchise cornerstone and nearly untouchable, that kind of label doesn’t hold up when Kevin Durant is a possibility.
Unfortunately for Philadelphia, their lack of draft assets would make it difficult to get their hands on the superstar forward.
As expected, Brooklyn wants a historical return for Durant. Considering Friday’s blockbuster trade between the Utah Jazz and the Minnesota Timberwolves involved five players being sent to Utah along with four first-round picks for a deal centered around the All-Star Rudy Gobert, the bar has been raised for Brooklyn.
Landing Durant could immediately make the Sixers favorites in the East, but the chances of a deal centered around Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey being sent to Brooklyn seem slim at this time.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for All76ers, a Sports Illustrated channel. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.
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