The Kevin Durant- Nets dispute took a turn today when Durant told owner Joe Tsai he needed to decide between him or general manager Sean Marks and coach Steve Nash. Reports have also surfaced about Durant, who requested a trade with star teammate Kyrie Irving on June 30, that he does not believe in the Nets future.
New Orleans has the assets to get a deal done, but would it be wise to enter the KD sweepstakes?
First, lets look at the pros.
Kevin Durant, 33, is debatably the best player in the league. This past season, Durant posted averages of 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.4 assists. His resume is among the best in league history. Durant is a former MVP, a 12x All-Star, a 4x scoring champion, a 2x NBA Champion, a 2x Finals MVP, and a member of the NBA 75th anniversary team.
His presence would immediately make the Pelicans championship contenders. For a franchise that has only won two playoff series in its 19 years of existence building a team, around a proven winner like Durant is something to be considered.
If the Pelicans goal is to win now, trading for Durant would be the right move.
Now the cons.
A trade for Durant would certainly blow up the Pelicans roster. The Nets would demand either Brandon Ingram or Zion Williamson in return, along with other key players and draft picks.
Zion Williamson, when healthy, is one of the league's most talented players and Brandon Ingram proved his value this postseason when the Pelicans stole two games from the top-seeded Suns. Trading away either of these guys could be disastrous.
Pieces like Herb Jones, Trey Murphy, and Jose Alvarado have also shown they are important pieces to this roster. All three played great basketball down the stretch for New Orleans and seemed to "buy in" to the culture Willie Green established.
Not only would the trade be expensive, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense if you’re New Orleans. After the success of last season, why break the roster up? Assuming the team stays healthy, the Pelicans could potentially be one of the best teams in the NBA.
There could be an argument that acquiring Durant makes the team worse. As I stated earlier, the trade would be expensive. Assuming the deal takes many of the Pelicans young core, the roster would have little depth.
Durant has also shown a lack of commitment to the organizations he plays for. We know about his messy exit from Oklahoma City and now we're seeing him practically give up on this Nets team. If things don’t go as planned in, he will have no problem wanting out of New Orleans.
So, would it be wise for the Pelicans to trade for Kevin Durant? I would say no.
The Pelicans are in a good situation for the first time in many years. Why mess with it? Why trade one of your All-Stars and many of your young pieces for an aging superstar? As the saying goes, "if it’s not broken, don’t fix it!"