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Three-Man Weave: Rockets Open To Kevin Durant, Nets Trade As Third Team

The Brooklyn Nets are on the verge of trading Kevin Durant, and the Houston Rockets are open to acting as a third team in a potential deal.

HOUSTON — Kevin Durant has been a thorn in the Houston Rockets' side for over a decade. 

He has averaged 26.3 points in 39 career games played against the Rockets and contributed to the Golden State Warriors' dominance over Houston in 2018 and 2019. But despite The Rockets' anguish against Durant, Houston could play a role in helping the 12-time All-Star find a new home.

Four days after Durant requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets, The Athletic reported that general manager Rafael Stone is open to entering the sweepstakes for the first-ballot Hall-of-Famer. But instead of landing the former MVP, Stone is open to act as the third team to help Durant and the Nets find a solution to end their three-year partnership. 

The looming departure of Durant will likely involve a third team. No franchise in the league has enough assets and salary space to orchestrate a deal for Durant alone. At the start of the 2022-23 campaign, Durant will be in the first year of the $198 million contract extension he signed last off-season.  

The Rockets' most significant benefit in acting as a third team in a Durant trade will be to take back an expiring contract to add to their salary cap space in 2023 while acquiring a young prospect to their rebuilding corps.

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Durant's early wish list includes the Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns, two teams where the Rockets can play the fair liaison — given their trade assets. Durant appeared in 55 games for the Nets last season and averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.4 assists. 

Other trade suitors linked to Durant are the Warriors, Toronto Raptors and Portland Trail Blazers.

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