Kevin Durant wants out of Brooklyn. The landscape-altering report that the superstar has asked for a trade broke on Thursday afternoon, and was quickly followed by Durant's wish list in terms of his preferred landing spots -- headlined by Miami and Phoenix.
That's all well and good, but as Adrian Wojnarowski notes above, the Nets are going to look for the best deal they can. They have zero incentive to do Durant a favor and move him to a contending team. He has no way to veto any trade due to a lack of a no-trade clause in his contract. And because he signed a four-year extension this past offseason, whoever trades for Durant has him under contract for the next four seasons, guaranteed.
All that adds up to a wide variety of different outcomes for this situation. After we broke down possible destinations for Durant with sincerity last week just in case this happened, we've decided to take a more light-hearted approach and dig into the funniest possible trade destinations for KD.
New York Knicks
It would be objectively hilarious and more than a little sad if the Nets threw up their hands and traded Durant to their cross-town rival. That was constitute a massive and extraordinarily depressing admission of defeat that New York belongs to the orange and blue after all the clamoring Durant and Kyrie Irving did about building up a fanbase in Brooklyn. For the neutral NBA fan, it would be amusing to watch the Knicks do what they've garnered a reputation for doing and giving up everything for the marquee superstar that sells tickets but can't win a championship because he doesn't have enough help, a ripple effect of the trade that got him there in the first place.
The downside: James Dolan gets a good player.
The Kings are, by every measure, a terribly-run franchise. They own the longest playoff drought in the NBA. Every year they make a strange decision they see as win-now that sacrifices any hope of future contention. Every year, they crush the spirit of their fans into dust by choosing the wrong player in the draft and either firing a good head coach too early or letting a bad head coach run the show for too long. It's a vicious cycle that has made Sacramento a basketball desert that players only go to when they have absolutely no choice in the matter.
Which is why it makes perfect sense that the Kings would offer some obscene trade package of all their good players and the next 10 years' worth of draft picks just to have Kevin Durant in uniform, even if he'd be miserable and the team would suck. KD would never choose to go to the Kings on his own. But this is the bed he made when he teamed up with Kyrie. Apologies to any Kings fans reading this, but it would be karmic justice to see Durant end up with the worst team of the 21st century and play his heart out for a play-in spot before getting eliminated by the Warriors.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Durant famously left a potential title-winning roster in Oklahoma City to bolt to the Golden State Warriors. There was a ton of bad blood between the city and the player as many saw him as a turncoat for leaving the Thunder for the team that beat them in the 2016 Western Conference Finals. Now the Thunder have the young players and assets to entice the Nets into a blockbuster trade. Watching Durant re-sell himself on OKC and watching the fans have to drop their hatred for him would make fascinating television.
Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti has done a remarkable job collecting draft picks and young players. If certain conditions are met, the Thunder will own two first-round picks in the 2023 draft and four in 2024 and four more in 2025. Yes, that's right, they could have 10 first-rounders in the next three drafts. Think the Nets would be interested in those? If a full-scale teardown is coming that's a deal Brooklyn might have to make.
Los Angeles Lakers
If the Lakers could somehow entice the Nets to take a package centered around Anthony Davis, it could set up one of the crazier reunions in NBA history. Russell Westbrook and his visceral dislike for Durant after the latter abandoned him in Oklahoma City would collide as they would be teammates again in LA. It would be amazing.
Could the two of them put all that history behind them and work as teammates again? Would LeBron James constantly be playing peacemaker as the Lakers tried to return to contention? The layers to this would be incredible.