Though the Miami Heat were seen as one of the key contenders in the sweepstakes for Kevin Durant earlier this summer, a recent report indicates that the Heat essentially took themselves out of the running for the former MVP fairly early in the process.
According to NBA insider Shams Charania, the Heat stopped discussing a potential trade with the Nets around the time of Summer League.
“The last time, Stugotz, the Heat called the Nets was right around Summer League or even maybe even before that,” Charania said. “… They never really aggressively pursued a deal because I think at the end of the day, they knew they would have had to gut multiple players.”
In the end, the Heat most likely made the best decision for the team by not gutting the roster for Durant. Though Durant is one of the best players in the league, it was already proven just last season that a lot more is needed to win a title.
After all, Durant and the Nets were dominated in a 4-0 sweep in the first round of the 2022 playoffs by the Boston Celtics. The Heat, meanwhile, nearly defeated the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Moreover, while Adebayo and fellow star Jimmy Butler are determined and passionate leaders, Durant isn’t known as that type of player. He wanted to cut bait entirely from the Nets after a disappointing 2021-22 season, and it took nearly the entire summer for the organization to convince him to stick around.
It’s hard to know how close the Heat ever really got to actually acquiring Durant. It’s also hard to know how much the team’s front office really considered including a player like Adebayo to get such a deal done.
What is clear about this report, however, is that the Heat knew pretty quickly that there was not a deal that they were willing to make to land Durant.