The 76ers Have Too Much Stability To Add Kevin Durant
After Kevin Durant reignited his trade saga this past Monday, a report from SNY insider Ian Begley brought the Philadelphia 76ers into the picture.
Over the weekend, Durant reiterated his demand to be traded from the Brooklyn Nets to the Brooklyn Nets’ owner, Joe Tsai.
That story was reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Begley’s report followed two days later.
Kevin Durant reportedly views the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics as ‘desired landing spots,’ per @IanBegley pic.twitter.com/IhkmNsJb47
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) August 10, 2022
After originally listing the Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns as preferred trade destinations, Begley reported Durant now sees the Boston Celtics and 76ers as welcome landing spots.
Along with the Heat and Suns, both the Celtics and 76ers are strong title contenders for the upcoming season.
While Philadelphia may not have the strongest trade package to offer due to their limited draft capital, a player package of Tyrese Maxey (if made available), Tobias Harris, and Matisse Thybulle would satisfy Brooklyn’s desire to field a competitive team after the trade.
But should the 76ers really look into acquiring the 12-time All-Star from Brooklyn?
They just had a tremendous offseason and are less than six months removed from the Ben Simmons saga.
Acquiring Durant could lead to more of the same.
Simmons Saga Scars
How quickly some seem to forget all that happened between the 76ers and Simmons.
After passing out of a seemingly wide-open layup in the second round of the playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks, Simmons dominated the headlines.
Simmons cut off all contact between himself and the team.
He refused to meet and talk with coach Doc Rivers or fellow teammates, including Joel Embiid.
Sources: Philadelphia 76ers players wanted to take a jet to Los Angeles this week to meet with Ben Simmons, but were informed not to come and that the three-time All-Star did not want to meet.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 25, 2021
Then, the week before training camp was set to begin, Simmons told the front office he is done with the team and wanted to be traded.
Simmons was fined regularly by the team for missing games and practices until he was traded to the Nets for James Harden.
Not only were the Sixers dealing with the loss of their starting point guard on the court, but they also had to deal with the constant media attention it garnered off the court.
It was a media circus and non-stop distraction for the team for the first half of the season.
Would the 76ers really risk having to go through that all over again with Durant?
If Durant is willing to demand a trade with four years left on his deal, he is clearly willing to demand a trade at any time.
The 76ers just got through one media saga with a dissatisfied superstar.
They shouldn’t be looking to rush into another.
76ers Finally (Seemingly) Have Depth
Even with the inclusion of Maxey in a Durant trade, the 76ers would still need to throw in added players.
For a team that was short on depth last season, that is a scary proposition.
The 76ers have had a solid offseason so far.
James Harden and Shake Milton were brought back while P.J. Tucker, Danuel House Jr, and De’Anthony Melton were acquired.
Danny Green was the only significant rotation piece lost from last year, and he is expected to miss all next season with a knee injury.
After struggling to find viable pieces to play alongside Embiid, Harden, Maxey, and Harris, they now have a few options.
ESPN gave the Philadelphia 76ers an A grade for the offseason moves the team made. https://t.co/VP1UM806ef
— Sixers Wire (@SixersWire) August 7, 2022
On top of Tucker, House, and Melton being valuable two-way contributors, they push incumbent players into better roles.
Thybulle, Georges Niang, and Furkan Korkmaz no longer must be relied upon for 20+ minutes per game.
Instead, they can be used in more specific situations where their skill sets can shine.
A trade for Durant almost assuredly depletes the newfound depth.
If Maxey, Harris, and Thybulle are all included, Niang and Korkmaz would once again find themselves with prominent roles.
Neither player is a flat-out bad basketball player, but they provide little outside of perimeter shooting.
And if their shots aren’t falling, they become all but useless come playoff time.
Depth has been a major issue facing the 76ers for years now.
A Durant deal would wipe out any depth that was built this offseason.