NBA Rumors: The Kevin Durant Wild Card Could Dampen Bidding Wars This Week

Now that Kyrie Irving has left the Brooklyn Nets in his rear-view mirror (like he did the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers), everyone is wondering if the next big domino to fall in Brooklyn could be Kevin Durant.

NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting today the Nets are receiving plenty of calls about Duran'ts availability, but are informing teams—and Durant himself—that they're not planning to trade him before Thursday’s deadline. The two sides are "having ongoing conversations on the direction of the franchise."

But will KD re-institute his trade demand this summer? The possibility exists, no matter what both sides tell us this week. And the thought of it is actually expected to have an impact on the current trade deadline. 

According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports:

Officials from multiple teams also told Yahoo Sports they expect the number of front offices quietly preparing for Kevin Durant to become available via trade this offseason will likely dampen the (Toronto) Raptors' bidding war for (OG) Anunoby's services, at least to some degree. Why would Phoenix, for example, mortgage multiple first-round picks for Toronto's swingman and eliminate itself from any potential Durant sweepstakes come July?

It's reasonable to extend that line of thinking to any of the big names available at this deadline, when it comes to teams that think they could potentially make a run at Durant in the summer. This would apply specifically to teams like Phoenix, and even the Toronto Raptors as well, who were both in on the KD bidding last summer. 

ESPN's Brian Windhorst is hearing the same thing.

The 34-year-old 13-time All-Star still has three seasons remaining on his contract after this one, at about $150M total. He was averaging 29.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists in 39 games this season before going down with an MCL sprain. It's hoped that he'll return just after the All-Star Break. 

To be clear, there is as yet no indication from KD that he'll be asking out again, but teams are "applying the brakes" a bit for now, as Windhorst says, in order to be prepared. 

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