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3 trade packages that could bring Kevin Durant to the Grizzlies, and why Memphis won't make it happen

The NBA superstar wants out of Brooklyn, according to ESPN, and Memphis is one of the top destinations for the two-time champ. But will the Grizzlies make the move?
Credit: AP
FILE - Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant reacts to a referee's call during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Thursday, March 3, 2022, in New York. Kevin Durant has requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets, according to a person with direct knowledge of the seismic decision that undoubtedly will have teams scrambling to put together enormous offers for the perennial All-Star.(AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The already-hot NBA offseason reached a fever pitch Friday when Utah Jazz superstar Rudy Gobert was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a package that includes Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverly and multiple first-round picks. 

While this trade makes major waves in the landscape of the NBA's Western Conference, Gobert isn't the biggest name linked to trade rumors in the league. 

Brooklyn Nets superstar forward Kevin Durant wants out, according to ESPN, and has requested a trade. 

According to OddsChecker.com, the Grizzlies hold the second-best odds to land Durant, of whom the Nets will be looking to get an "historic return" for. 

So what would a trade for Durant to the Grizzlies look like? 

Everyone outside of Ja Morant would be on the table for KD

If Friday's Rudy Gobert trade showed fans anything, it's that teams are willing to go to extreme lengths to land superstar talent. 

While Beasley took a step back in his scoring for 2021-2022 after playing a full season, he was still the fourth-best scorer for Minnesota, posting 12.1 points per game, and converting more than 80% of his free throws. 

Patrick Beverly was also effective for the Timberwolves, and was the outspoken heart and soul of the team's playoff run.

In addition, Minnesota is sending two more players, Jarred Vanderbilt and 2022 first-round draft pick Walker Kessler, as well as four more future first-round draft picks, in order to secure Gobert. 

This means, for a player like Kevin Durant to come to the Grizzlies, everyone outside of Ja Morant would be on the table. 

This includes the Grizzlies' young nucleus of Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane and Dillon Brooks

The likelihood of a Grizzlies/ Durant deal with the Nets will almost certainly include Jaren Jackson Jr. based off his shooting ability - although not as dominant this past season - his youth, and his strong defensive presence, leading the league in blocks for a good portion of the 2021-22 season.

Jackson's $28.9 million cap hit, the second-highest on the team, would also soften the blow of Durant's incoming $44.1 million. 

What sharply decreases Jackson's value, however, is the fact that he may not be ready for the start of the 2022-2023 season, as he's going to be out four to six months recovering from surgery to fix a stress fracture in his foot. 

RELATED: Jaren Jackson Jr. has surgery, out 4-6 months

Bane is a young, inexpensive piece that adds incredible value to any team. He led the Grizzlies in Win Shares, an advanced stat that estimates the amount of wins contributed by a player, with 7.2. 

He was also the team's third-leading scorer at 18.2 points per game, and led the team in three-point shots made and three-point shooting percentage.

A trade for Durant might require two, if not all three, of these players, as well as other young players and multiple picks.

Trade 1: Memphis sends Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane, John Konchar, David Roddy, Kennedy Chandler, four first-round picks to Brooklyn for Kevin Durant

This trade balances the dump of top-end talent and prospects, but sacrifices the young core that Memphis prides itself on. 

Jackson and Bane are the centerpieces of this trade, although the latter is probably the least likely player the Grizzlies would move, considering his value, controllable contract and strong bond with teammate Ja Morant.

RELATED: Ja Morant wins NBA's Most Improved Player Award

John Konchar would be available due to the Grizzlie's wealth of young talent at shooting guard, added to with their acquisition of Danny Green from the Indiana Pacers in a draft night trade. 

The Nets currently have 31-year-old Seth Curry, 30-year-old Joe Harris and rookie Cam Thomas at shooting guard, and would certainly be looking for younger upgrades at the position.

2022 first-round pick David Roddy and second-round pick Kennedy Chandler round out the players in this trade, two guards with large upside that could form a young core down the road. 

Moving Chandler, a young point guard with scoring potential, makes sense for both teams. 

Signs point to Nets point guard Kyrie Irving wanting out if Durant is traded, and the Grizzlies just re-signed their backup point guard Tyus Jones to a two-year deal. 

RELATED: Tyus Jones returning to the Grizzlies, according to ESPN

Trade 2: Memphis sends Jaren Jackson Jr., Dillon Brooks, Ziaire Williams, Brandon Clarke, Tyus Jones, David Roddy and four first-round picks to Brooklyn for Kevin Durant

Jaren Jackson Jr. would still be the centerpiece of this trade, but if the Grizzlies wanted to hold onto Desmond Bane, they would have to give up a significant amount of shooting talent in return. 

Dillon Brooks, who will be 27 for the 2022-2023 season, would still be a younger option for the Nets at shooting guard. 

Brooks was the Grizzlies' second-leading scorer in 2021-2022 with 18.4 points per game, and was the team's second-best shooter from free throw range, converting 84.9% of his attempts. 

At $11.4 million, his cap hit, combined with Jackson's, would go lengths to compensate for Durant's cap, which is fourth-highest in the league. 

Williams, at just 21 years old, played valuable minutes off the bench for the Grizzlies, and established himself as an inside scoring threat. 

He could play either guard or forward for the Nets. 

Brandon Clarke led the Grizzlies with a 64.4% field goal percentage, which would have been fourth-best in the NBA in 2021-2022, but he fell just short of the minimum 300 field goals made with 288. 

He'll also be 26 for the 2022-2023 season, presenting another young replacement at forward for Durant. 

Tyus Jones would be on the move to protect Memphian Kennedy Chandler at point guard. Chandler would have to develop in the NBA, filling in Jones' spot as Ja Morant's backup, a role in which he excelled at last season.

RELATED: "It's God's plan, I've got a lot of fuel in me" | Kennedy Chandler reacts to being drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies

Trade 3: Memphis sends Desmond Bane, Brandon Clarke, Steven Adams, David Roddy, Jake LaRavia, Kennedy Chandler, four first-round picks to Brooklyn for Kevin Durant

This trade sacrifices more young talent in exchange for maintaining more of the core roster.

Jaren Jackson Jr.'s $28.9 million cap hit would remain, meaning taking on Durant's contract would be more of a challenge for the Grizzlies, but Memphis would send Steven Adams and his $17.9 million cap hit to ease the damage. 

Adams was a rebounding force for the Grizzlies, averaging 10 per game, which led the team by more than four. 

He was a big reason why the Grizzlies were such a dominant offensive rebounding team last season, and his departure would be felt in the paint. 

Jake LaRavia was the Grizzlies' big man from the 2022 draft. The Wake Forest forward has upside in the paint, and could develop for the Nets as they look to get younger. 

Would the Grizzlies get the trade done?

Although it's possible, it's much less likely. Especially looking at how much Memphis would be forced to give up to acquire Durant, who has already expressed interest in Miami and/or Phoenix.

Phoenix will likely be looking to make a deal for Deandre Ayton, after being hesitant to solidify a contract extension.

Outside of Tyus Jones, Steven Adams, and Dillon Brooks, the Grizzlies' core is younger than 25 years old, and despite their youth, they managed to fall just short of forcing a Game 7 against the 2022 NBA Champions, the Golden State Warriors, in the Western Conference Semi-Finals.

Sacrificing a young team with the possibility of long-term dominance in the NBA for Durant, who could still be in his prime, may seem like a great deal in the short-term but not so much long-term.

Grizzlies General Manager and Executive V.P. Zach Kleiman has expressed the desire to bring a championship to Memphis, but despite his aggressive nature in making trades and deals, he's also an executive that has shown significant interest in long-term success for the Grizzlies franchise.

RELATED: GM says Grizzlies will spend to keep Morant, core together

Watching the pairing of Ja Morant and Kevin Durant would no doubt be an exciting one, but with all Memphis would be forced to give up to supersede the likely offers from Miami and Phoenix, Durant in Memphis may just sound nicer than it would actually be in reality.   

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