It has been nearly 3 weeks since Kevin Durant’s surprising trade request, but the Brooklyn Nets still don’t appear anywhere near actually finding a deal for him.
The Suns matching Deandre Ayton’s offer sheet instead of using him as a piece in a sign-and-trade seemingly indicated they are no longer pursing Durant, removing one of the favorites from the race to land him.
As one of the top suitors has appeared to exit the race, one dark horse candidate has emerged to land the perennial All-Star. According to Hoops Wire’s Sam Amico, sources are saying that the Washington Wizards could try to make a move for Durant.
— Hoops Wire (@WireHoops) July 18, 2022
Several sources even have told Hoops Wire to keep an eye on the Wizards, who could make a major push. Durant is a DC product, too. He may not be upset about playing at home alongside Bradley Beal.
A trade to the Wizards may actually be the best option for Durant’s image. Trades to the Suns or Heat would only fuel critics who claim Durant can only win when he joins teams that are already setup to succeed without him. A trade to the Warriors after they just won the title would arguably be one of the softest moves in sports history.
With the Wizards, Durant would get to return to his hometown and attempt to deliver just the second ring in franchise history for the Wizards. He would have a second star alongside him in Bradley Beal and would have a viable supporting cast with Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle Kuzma, Rui Hachimura, Will Barton, and Monte Morris.
The Wizards would immediately become a playoff team with Durant and would likely be just one more piece away from becoming a title contender.
If the Washington Wizards join the race for Durant, they could present him with a path to another ring that won’t damage his legacy along the way.