Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant has the Phoenix Suns at the top of his trade destination wish list, followed by the Miami Heat, after requesting a trade on Thursday, ESPN's Brian Windhorst reports.
"Phoenix is the place he wants to go, I feel reasonably confident of that," said Brian Windhorst on his podcast via RealGM.com. "I think Miami is second. What I'm not confident over is that Phoenix is going to be able to give Brooklyn what they want. And I'm also not confident in what Brooklyn is going to prioritize."
Co-host Tim Bontemps added that he believes the Suns will ultimately land Durant, who requested a trade from the Nets on Thursday (June 30).
"If you look at these trade, there's a nexus point between what the player wants and the team wants," said Bontemps. "Kevin Durant would like to play for the Suns. We can all agree on that. The Phoenix Suns also have a lot of stuff the Brooklyn Nets would want. They're not going to get Devin Booker in this trade, but they've got Mikal Bridges, they've got Deandre Ayton they can put in a sign-and-trade, and they have Cam Johnson."
Phoenix also has control of all of its draft picks, which could be packaged in a deal for the former NBA Finals and regular season MVP.
Durant's business manager, Rich Kleiman, told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that Nets general manager Sean Marks is currently working with him and Durant on finding a trade for the former NBA regular season and Finals MVP.
Wojnarowski reported that Durant included the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat on his wish list of trade partners, however, the Nets plan to move the perennial All-Star to whatever team offers the best deal.
Last week, sources told the Athletic's Shams Charania that Durant was weighing his options and monitoring the Nets' situation regarding point guard Kyrie Irving's future before Irving's player option for 2022-23 was exercised days later.
Durant and Irving both signed with the Nets as free agents in 2019, making Brooklyn an immediate favorite to contend for an NBA championship.
However, the Nets have failed to reach the Eastern Conference Finals since the duo joined the team, with Irving missing the majority of their first season together due to injuries and the 2021-22 regular season due to New York's COVID restrictions prohibiting him from playing in home games without being vaccinated.
ESPN's Nick Friedell reported on SportsCenter that he's "been told that" Durant and Irving aren't as close as most believe.
“At every turn publicly, [Kevin Durant] has been there to support [Kyrie Irving], to say we need Kyrie, to say Kyrie can win a title with me here in Brooklyn. But I can tell you, I’ve been talking to people in the organization the last couple of weeks, when they finally sit down and talk to Kevin throughout the summer, they are trying to figure out if Kevin saw what everybody else saw," Friedell said via SBNation. "The reason that whole season got sidetracked was because they couldn’t count on Kyrie, and they didn’t know if he was going to be out there. And the issue with Kevin is, he wants to win badly, he wants to be loyal to his friend. But I’ve been told that relationship, while very close, isn’t always as close as it appears to be.”
Durant, a 12-time All-Star selection, averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.4 assists per game during the 2021-22 season.