All-day the news around the NBA was the free agency explosion that will come at 6:00 on June 30th, 2022. If you are a Sixers fan, you probably have been watching to see what would happen with Tobias Harris or Matisse Thybulle, who have both been actively shopped.
There were rumors all around the league of potential moves and deals. Then, the news was dropped that Kevin Durant (KD) has told the Brooklyn Nets that he wants to be traded, per Shams Charania of The Atheltic, as soon as possible. Now… everything changed.
Are the Sixers in a bidding war for Durant?
For all of the excitement surrounding news of a DeJounte Murray trade to Atlanta, per Charania, or a possible P.J. Tucker addition here in Philly, there is nothing that compares with this news. Kevin Durant is one of the top three players in the game by anyone’s standards and one of a small handful of players capable of changing the landscape of the NBA wherever he goes.
His presence alone will turn someone into a serious contender, and change the perspective on whether the East or West is the strongest conference. Everyone in the league, except for maybe Golden State, is about to enter the craziest bidding war that we have ever seen.
Daryl Morey is too savvy of a GM not to be in the mix, kicking the tires and making offers for KD. What can the Sixers offer, and what should they offer? How much is too much for this team, that feels like it may only be a few players away from being title contenders this year already? They don’t want to hurt their potential but they have to come in strong, because other teams will as well.
This is the best offer that I think the Sixers can make without destroying what they have already built:
The team was already looking to move Tobias Harris and Matisse Thybulle, so there is no real loss there, but losing Tyrese Maxey stings, plus this deal leaves the Sixers without a first round pick until 2029. If you want to have any shot at game-changing players this is what it costs.
What makes this Kevin Durant trade so completely unprecedented is that KD is under contract for the next FOUR YEARS. A player of his stature and ability, with that much time left on his contract, has never before been available to the highest bidder.
A Philadelphia 76ers squad with Harden, Embiid, and Durant becomes an instant favorite to win it all, regardless of who they can surround them with or bring off the bench. If they can keep Embiid and Harden, then everyone else on the team has to be on the table. The Nets are scrambling, and probably looking for someone to unload Kyrie Irving on as well.
I understand that a lot of fans are enamored of the talent that comes with Irving, but the fact that everywhere he goes turmoil and strife seems to follow is not an accident. The prize is KD, not Irving, and it’s not remotely close, so don’t get that twisted. KD is a gamechanger of the highest degree.
Is a trade offer like that enough to get Durant into a Sixers uniform? Who knows? If teams decide to offer up other studs then maybe it’s not. For example, if the Los Angeles Lakers offer Anthony Davis, or the Clippers offer Paul George, then no, it’s probably not enough. However, the bidding war is just about to begin, and no one knows how this is going to play out. It’s unprecedented, and even if we don’t wind up getting him, it’s worth a shot.
At the end of the day, that’s what this day is really all about- hope. Here’s hoping that the Sixers make whatever moves they need to make them contenders next year. If that means landing KD, well then, let’s all cross our fingers and see what happens!