With trade rumors swirling around Kevin Durant, the Sixers could be in position to add another star, but at what cost?
KD to Philly is a Possibility
Here is what we know so far about the Kevin Durant situation. First, we know that Durant has officially requested a trade. While he could be interested in Philly, it is not his top choice. The Sixers, of course, have interest in Durant as well. We all know GM Daryl Morey loves stars, and who wouldn’t want to add KD?
What Would it Take?
One thing that helps is that Durant does not have a no trade clause. However, any team that makes the trade will still have to makes sure that he is on board first. Therefore, the trade would mostly come down to who can offer Brooklyn the most enticing package. While this levels the playing field for the Sixers versus Durant’s slightly more preferred teams, it also means that they will have to cough up a king’s ransom.
Any trade for Durant will likely cost at least three quality players and several draft picks. Just to offset salary, any trade will have to involve Tobias Harris, but it will take much more than that. The Sixers do have some other solid, but expendable assets that they could throw in such as Matisse Thybulle and Shake Milton. These three, plus a handful of picks could add up to sufficient value on paper. The trade machine likes it, saying that it would actually favor the Nets. However, there are several hurdles here. First this would require sign-and-trades for both Thybulle and Milton. Secondly and most importantly, that type of return for one of the all-time would be a tough pill for Brooklyn to swallow. As this trade would more or less signal a rebuild, the Nets would likely insist on getting a young star that they can build around. The Sixers have one player that fits the bill: Tyrese Maxey.
Trading Maxey Would be a Mistake
I get that the idea of adding KD is enticing. Of course it is. This is Kevin freaking Durant we’re talking about here. Nevertheless, we have to remember that he is 34 now. While he is still playing at an elite level, his best years are pretty much behind him.
At just 21 years old, Maxey is 13 YEARS(?!) younger than him. He will not reach the age that Durant is now until 2035. He has his entire career ahead of him. After what we saw this season, that future looks extremely bright.
Maxey looks poised to become at least a top 20 player in the NBA as soon as this year, and his ceiling has never looked higher. While Durant is probably still a top five player right now, he’s isn’t going to get any better. In three to five years from now, Maxey could very well be the better player. Again, in five years Maxey will only be 26 while Durant will be 39.
The main argument for giving up everything, including Maxey, to get KD is that Philly’s championship window is right now. Joel Embiid’s body is not likely to hold up for a very long time. Still, Maxey could give the organization something to build around for the next 10 to 15 years. And the Sixers are pretty good with him right now. Say they do give up everything to get Durant. Now they have a chance to win a title or two in the next three years, if, and this a big if, both Embiid and Durant can stay healthy. That is a hefty gamble to bet your entire future on.