Report: Warriors rival Grizzlies interested in Durant trade originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The Warriors’ newest rival reportedly has entered the Kevin Durant trade sweepstakes.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Monday, citing sources, that the Memphis Grizzlies are interested trading for the Brooklyn Nets’ superstar.
Memphis’ greatest assets in trade talks, Charania reports, is its load of five first-round draft picks. One of those selections is a protected 2024 first-rounder the Grizzlies acquired from Golden State when the Warriors traded Andre Iguodala and the pick to clear cap space and complete the sign-and-trade for D’Angelo Russell with the Brooklyn Nets in 2020.
The Grizzlies have emerged into a Western Conference threat. Memphis rattled off a franchise-best 56-win season in 2021-22 before falling to the Warriors in a heated six-game playoff series. They have surrounded superstar Ja Morant with one of the most exciting, young rosters in basketball, which includes Desmond Bane, Brandon Clarke, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Ziaire Williams, who are all under 25 years old.
However, Charania reports the Grizzlies are not offering Jackson or Bane in any trade for Durant and prefer to focus the deal around their haul of first-round picks.
Since Durant requested a trade from the Nets in June, the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat have been reported as the leaders in the clubhouse to complete a blockbuster swap. Boston reportedly offered Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and a draft pick to the Nets last month, but that proposal was denied.
Durant also asked Nets owner Joe Tsai to fire coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks, but that request was rejected.
There were early rumors that Durant was interested in returning to the Warriors, but a reunion looks unlikely as the team is content chasing another championship with the core of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green intact. Golden State also is invested in the futures of Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga, James Wiseman and Moses Moody.
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“I like our team and where it’s at,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers said to NBA.com’s Mark Medina in July. “I want to give the guys a chance to do it again.”
As no team has matched the Nets’ expensive asking price for Durant, it’s possible the star remains with Brooklyn. Durant, who has four years remaining on his contract, could also opt to hold out of training camp if he is not moved.
Memphis is expected to be in the mix once again in the Western Conference. But if the Grizzlies put together a package for Durant, they would go from Golden State’s newest rival to its biggest threat.
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