The NBA never disappoints when it comes to drama.
And the Brooklyn Nets have been at the center of that basketball chaos for the last few months. Most recently, it was Kyrie Irving’s trade demand that sent the Nets into a spiral and found Irving a new home with the Dallas Mavericks.
Now, with Irving in Texas, surely the Brooklyn drama is over? Bookmakers don’t think so. Odds suggest there’s a good chance the Nets’ other star — Kevin Durant — is on the move next, even if the Nets say otherwise.
Below, we break down what to make of these Durant trade odds and if KD will stay in Brooklyn or try for a ring in a new NBA city:
Kevin Durant Next Team Odds
|Golden State Warriors||+400|
|New York Knicks||+750|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+900|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+1000|
Odds as of February 7, 2023
While the Nets tell other teams they’re unlikely to move Durant before the trade deadline, several teams are calling on the star wing, per reports.
The Suns were the top destination when Durant requested a trade during the summer, and Phoenix remains atop the odds ahead of the deadline. The Suns’ +200 odds imply a 33.33 percent chance he’ll end up in the desert if traded. Phoenix reportedly dangled Chris Paul in an offer for Irving, and could move Paul and a bevy of draft picks to pair KD alongside Devin Booker.
Knicks Best Fit For KD
The New York Knicks had a chance to make a big move for one of the most dynamic players in the NBA last year. They declined to mortgage their future in draft picks and prospects in a move for Donovan Mitchell, who ultimately went to the Cavs.
The Knicks passed on that Mitchell move in hopes that a bigger fish would soon be available. Durant is that big fish.
The Knicks have three first-round picks this year and the type of young pieces to build a compelling KD package around. More importantly, they have motivation. Adding Durant to a core of Jalen Brunson, R.J. Barrett and Julius Randle would make the Knicks the team to beat in the East, even better than Boston. Expectations would be rightfully high for the first time in a long time in New York and the Knicks would surge to the top of NBA title odds.
If the Nets decide to trade Durant, or the superstar asks out, it would be hard to turn down a package like this:
Will Durant Even Get Traded?
Odds that came out immediately after Irving was traded to Dallas said there was a -200 chance (66.66 percent implied odds) that Durant would be traded before the deadline. However, it seems more likely the forward stays in Brooklyn for at least the rest of the season as the Nets have since come out and suggested they don’t plan on moving KD.
The Nets’ NBA championship odds dropped from +800 to +2200 after the Kyrie trade, leading many to suggest Brooklyn will enter a full rebuild. But a team built around Durant, Nic Claxton and others can still make the playoffs and maybe make some noise. Barring a trade demand from KD himself, it makes sense for the Nets to retool around the star and try to make something of this year.
Just How Valuable Is Durant?
|Status||Games Played||Record||Average PPG|
|With Kevin Durant||146||93-53 (.637)||115.8|
|Without Kevin Durant||78||39-39 (.500)||113.6|
If it wasn’t already obvious, Durant is one of the most valuable players in the NBA. Comparing the Nets’ stats and record when he plays against when he doesn’t shows he alone is the difference between a 42- and 52-win season in Brooklyn — the difference between the No. 2 seed and No. 11 spot in the Eastern Conference last year.
So, as long as Durant is still in town, the Nets can win. The question becomes what can they surround him with?
Where Do The Nets Go Next?
While Durant is currently injured, the starting lineup when he’s healthy now looks something like this:
When everyone’s healthy, the squad has a decent mix of athleticism and shooting, and the star power of KD. But, maybe a trade for a more established point guard like Fred VanVleet or Mike Conley would elevate Brooklyn back into legit contender status?
Whatever the Nets choose to do, they’d better get it right. They’ve already lost James Harden and Irving, and they’re one more misstep away from losing their final star in Durant.