Where things stand on Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell trade talks with a month until camp: Shams Inside Pass – The Athletic

Where things stand on Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell trade talks with a month until camp: Shams Inside Pass - The Athletic

Two weeks have passed since then Kevin Durant repeated his trade request to Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai in a face-to-face meeting and informed Tsai that he had to choose between his 12-time All-Star player or head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks. It added a new dynamic to the biggest storyline of the offseason, an uneasy cloud that began to linger over the franchise when Durant called from Brooklyn on June 30. In terms of trade action, no deal is any closer at this time, but a new suitor has emerged from the Western Conference.

With NBA training camps opened about a month from now, here’s where things stand.

The Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat remains among the top threats to land Durant because they have the kinds of pieces needed to meet the Nets’ asking price in a deal for the two-time NBA Finals MVP. However, no one has yet met Brooklyn’s high price of an All-Star, other high-end players and draft picks — and conversations with those three front-runners have been non-existent recently. The Celts offered All-Star Jaylen Brown, guard Derrick White and a first-round draft pick in July, according to league sources; the Raptors refused to make Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes available; and Miami has yet to seriously pursue an All-Star package Bam Adebayo.

The Philadelphia 76ers expressed recent interest in Durant during the Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets also inquired with the Networks in late June and early July to estimate the price, according to sources. The New Orleans Pelicans inquired with the Nets on June 30 as well but viewed as an All-Star Brandon Ingram as untouchable, sources said. Also in the past month, the Atlanta Hawks offered John Collins, De’Andre Hunter and a draft pick for Durant, according to sources.

Neither of those conversations gained much traction. Durant has four years and $198 million remaining on his Nets contract.

One major complication to involving logical players in trade negotiations for Durant like Adebayo and Utah‘s Donovan Mitchell is that they cannot be obtained by trade from Brooklyn with Ben Simmons on the roster due to designated rookie extension rules.

Recently, a new team showed interest in Durant: the Memphis Grizzlieslink sources tell The Athletics. Fresh off a 56-win season, the Grizzlies asked the Nets new questions about Durant, those sources added. Memphis has five first-round draft picks available (four unprotected picks of their own and one protected by Golden State in 2024) to theoretically use in business as well as young players like Years Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane, Zaire Williams, Brandon Clarke, Kennedy Chandler and David Roddy.

Moments later The Athletics reported that Durant had asked for business back in June, a tweet from a Grizzlies star i dying caught a lot of attention for its obvious pro-Durant sentiment.

Grizzlies executive vice president of basketball operations Zach Kleiman, the reigning NBA Executive of the Year, has done a masterful job building the foundation of the team around All-NBA star Morant and a strong supporting cast securing assets for the present and future. The Grizzlies will not include Jackson or Bane in a potential bid for Durant, sources said, but rather a package built around their plethora of draft picks.

The Phoenix Suns similarly hung a package around a Defense wing Mikal Bridges and a handful of first-round draft picks that didn’t pick up any steam with the Nets, league sources said. With Deandre Ayton signed to a four-year maximum contract and unable to be moved until January, Phoenix has tried over the past month to make creative offers to Brooklyn, perhaps through three- or four-team trades where an All-Star-caliber player goes to the. Networks. But the Suns still haven’t found a suitable deal — and that’s why, for the most part, they appear to be behind Boston, Toronto and Miami in the Durant lottery.

Among the interested teams, the Celtics were seen throughout the league as the clear answer as the team that has the ingredients to make an agreement with Brooklyn. Currently, Boston did not include a guard Marcus Smart or center Robert Williams in a proposal, sources said. The Celtics have up to three first-round picks available to trade to Brooklyn. When Brooklyn rejected Boston’s offer last month, the Nets countered by asking for Brown, Smart, draft picks and possibly one more rotation player, according to sources.

So yes, Boston has the necessary pieces and Brooklyn has listened, but a gap exists.

For the Celtics, it’s a careful balance of improving the roster and maintaining their current status as a championship contender. President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens has patiently and skillfully continued to strengthen the Celtics’ roster following their NBA playoff berth, adding. Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari this offseason.

Now, will Boston rise to the Nets’ asking price to add a potential missing piece that has become available in a way that has rarely happened in NBA history? We will have to wait and see.

There is just over a month left in the NBA offseason. The Celtics and other teams looking for Durant have time to make their best offers and these deals can escalate quickly, but the clock is ticking for everyone involved.

If no team steps up their pursuit and matches Brooklyn’s price tag, Durant will be left with limited options other than reporting to Nets training camp. Across the NBA, however, people are wondering if the 33-year-old future Hall of Famer, who will be 34 when the season begins, will sit out training camp if a trade isn’t completed.

Within recent NBA memory, there was several routes for stars who asked for trades. Some returned to their respective team and played out the season. Elsewhere, Simmons took until the February trade deadline to be traded last season when he staged a no-show in training camp and ultimately did not play for the Philadelphia 76ers after the 2020-21 season ended. Jimmy Butler and James Hardenmeanwhile, were traded within the first month of the season when they were dissatisfied, in an uncomfortable environment and reported playing with Minnesota and Houstonrespectively, in 2018 and 2020.

For their part, the Nets believe they have improved the roster and have a championship-caliber team. The Nets traded for Royce O’Neale, signed TJ Warren and brought back Patty Mills and Nic Claxton awaiting the full returns of three-time All-Star Simmons and Joe Harris. All Star Kyrie Irving also picked up his $37 million player option, committed to the 2022-23 season in Brooklyn and sources with knowledge of the situation say he has been working with teammates and holding constructive dialogue with the organization this offseason. Brooklyn has made it clear to interested teams that they plan to keep the seven-time All-Star, according to sources. The Nets were without Simmons and Harris for the majority of last season, including their playoff series against Boston, but both are poised to provide a major boost heading into the upcoming campaign.

Simmons was cleared for three-on-three basketball activities after back surgery in May, and he is on track to be cleared for full five-on-five activities in the coming weeks, league sources say. The Nets and Simmons expect him to be ready for training camp in late September.

For now, though, the team’s standoff with its biggest star continues.

More NBA news and notes…

The latest on Donovan Mitchell’s trade talks

The Jazz and Knicks are in discussions about a trade that would send Donovan Mitchell to New York, according to sources. An agreement is not yet considered imminent, but the Knicks are motivated to acquire Mitchell and have offered new packages to Utah’s new administration led by CEO Danny Ainge.

New York made a recent offer of Evan Fournier, Obi Toppinextra salary and two unprotected first-round draft picks (five total), league sources tell me and The Athleticsit’s Tony Jones. The Jazz’s asking price was more significant than that.

Mitchell has three guaranteed years on his contract, allowing the Jazz to bring him into the upcoming campaign and take a patient approach to trade discussions. The Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards were among the teams interested in Mitchell as well, sources said.

Celtics sign Valentine to a training camp deal

The Celtics and free agent guard/forward Denzel Valentine have agreed to Exhibit 10 training camp, sources said. Valentine will compete for one of the Celtics’ open roster spots in training camp.

Related Reading

Timeline: What has happened since Kevin Durant’s trade request?

(Top photo: Nathaniel S. Butler / NBAE via Getty Images)

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