Kevin Durant’s former teammate believes Heat are perfect spot for Suns star

4 Min Read
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Kendrick Perkins of ESPN thinks that the Miami Heat stand out as an ideal destination for Phoenix Suns star Kevin Durant if he were to be traded in the offseason.

“Well, K.D. is all about relationships,” Perkins began when making his case for Miami being a perfect destination for Durant. “And there’s one assistant coach that’s sitting on that bench that’s a big brother to Kevin Durant, and that’s Caron Butler.

“So, I’m looking at their relationship. It would be a perfect fit. We know the Miami Heat then went to two NBA Finals. Jimmy Butler wasn’t able to get them over the hump. You get a guy like Kevin Durant in there. And also, the Miami Heat, they got the valuable — they got some pieces. They got some pieces over there that’s eye candy.”

The Heat were interested in signing Durant back in 2016, when the 14-time All-Star was a free agent. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra reportedly told Durant that the team “could unlock his efficiency” as Miami did with LeBron James a few years prior.

Durant and Butler were teammates on the Oklahoma City Thunder during the 2013-14 campaign, and the former went on to win that season’s MVP award after averaging a league-high 32.0 points along with 7.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.3 steals per game.

Butler hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2015-16 season, and as Perkins mentioned, he now serves as an assistant coach for the Heat.

Durant is under contract with the Suns through the 2025-26 season, but his future with the team seems uncertain following Phoenix’s first-round performance against Anthony Edwards and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Despite boasting three of the best offensive players in the NBA today in Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal, the Suns were swept by Minnesota. Not only were the Suns eliminated in four games, but three of Phoenix’s four losses were by double digits, with the one exception being the deciding Game 4.

For as underwhelming as Phoenix’s first-round series was from a collective standpoint, Durant still enjoyed a successful series against Minnesota from an individual perspective. Against one of the NBA’s top defenses, the 35-year-old averaged 26.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game on 55.2 percent shooting from the floor and 41.7 percent from 3-point range.

Shifting gears to the Heat — the team Perkins seemingly would like to see Durant end up with — the way Miami’s first-round series against the Boston Celtics transpired hints at the idea that the team could benefit from having a scorer of Durant’s caliber. After all, Miami scored 100 points or more in just one of the five games in the series and was held to under 90 points in Games 3, 4 and 5.

While a Durant-Heat partnership makes sense on paper, it’s difficult to say where Miami would rank among teams in the Eastern Conference and league as a whole without knowing who the Heat would have to give up in exchange for the forward.

Share This Article
Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.