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When Kevin Durant first put himself on the Brooklyn Nets’ trade block, the star forward was linked to the Phoenix Suns. While more than half the league was expected to show interest, none of the teams outside Phoenix had a realistic shot early in the summer.

Now, the Durant-to-Phoenix rumors have faded — and two other teams have inserted themselves into the picture. First, the Boston Celtics showed a genuine interest in potentially snagging Durant. Although Boston just made it to the NBA Finals in 2022, they couldn’t resist the idea of possibly landing a former champion and MVP winner.

The Celtics have a lot of valuable assets they could throw on the table in a trade for Durant, but Brooklyn asked for too much at the start of their negotiations. Therefore, Durant-to-Boston rumors died down quickly. But as time passed, Durant made it clear that his mind hadn’t changed.

So, with another reminder of a trade request from Durant in Brooklyn came another team added into the picture. Now, the Philadelphia 76ers are the latest organization linked to Durant.

The Latest on Philly’s Interest in Durant

The Sixers aren’t currently expected to be all in on acquiring Kevin Durant. According to Ian Begley of SNY, high-ranking members of the Sixers like the idea of exploring a trade for Durant. In addition, Durant liked the idea of reuniting with James Harden and teaming up with Joel Embiid in Philadelphia.

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While both sides like the thought of joining forces, negotiations haven’t gone too far now. And if you view the situation similar to how ESPN’s Bobby Marks views it, then you would understand that a trade between Philadelphia and Brooklyn doesn’t make much sense.

“When you’re looking at it from Philadelphia, basically the only player from a salary standpoint is a player like Tobias Harris,” said Marks. “So, when you look at Harris, and certainly players like Tyrese Maxey, Matisse Thybulle, you’re limited as far as what you’re going to be able to trade out.”

A trade for Durant would likely have to include Maxey, as he’s the biggest trade chip on Philadelphia’s roster outside Embiid and Harden. Harris would also have to be involved for salary-matching purposes. 

“If you’re the Nets’ perspective, you have their picks already. So why are you going to make this team a lot better,” Marks continued. “The pieces are there certainly when you look at Harris and Maxey and Thybulle for Durant, but from a draft pick perspective, it doesn’t make sense. If you’re going to trade Kevin Durant to a team in your conference. You want Jaylen Brown back, right? That’s the guy that you want back in a deal, and you want draft picks. This, for me, doesn’t make sense at all."

While a package headlined by Maxey and Harris could be desirable for Brooklyn, it can’t quite live up to the offer that Boston could make. Anything is possible regarding the NBA trade market, but early rumors make it seem like the Sixers have little to no chance of snagging the Brooklyn superstar. 

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for All76ers, a Sports Illustrated channel. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.