Western Conference exec: Heat would be a favorite in potential Kevin Durant trade

Jonathan Sherman
3 Min Read
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Superstar forward Kevin Durant’s 2023-24 season came to an end on Sunday night when he and the Phoenix Suns fell to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a four-game sweep in the playoffs. It took less than 24 hours for rumors to start to swirl regarding where Durant could play next if his time with the Suns proves over.

In a report from Sean Deveney of Heavy.com, the Miami Heat were pegged as one of the favorites to land the two-time NBA champion.

“There are a few teams that should come up,” one Western Conference executive said of potential Durant trade partners. “The Heat would be a favorite.”

This is far from the first time that the Heat have been mentioned as potential suitors for Durant. Back in 2022, the Heat were seen as one of the “serious threats” to land him after he requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets.

Though Miami struck out last time, it appears as though the storied franchise could have another opportunity this summer.

The Suns planned on competing for a title this season after they acquired Bradley Beal from the Washington Wizards in a June 2023 trade. On paper, the trio of Durant, Beal and Devin Booker seemed impossible to beat.

Despite that, the Suns never appeared to be a very serious threat in the Western Conference. They finished the regular season with a 49-33 record.

In their short-lived series against the No. 3 seed Wolves, the Suns never really seemed to put up much of a fight. They were dominated in Game 1, 120-95, and that lopsided result set the tone for the rest of the series.

Now, Durant will likely have to bear another offseason in which detractors question whether or not he has what it takes to truly lead a team to the promised land.

If Durant ultimately ends up on the Heat, he’d arguably give himself a better chance at silencing those critics. Though the Heat haven’t won an NBA championship since 2013, they are widely considered to be one of the most impressive franchises in the league.

Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is thought to be the best coach in the league. He has led his team to conference titles in 2020 and 2023.

Durant joining Miami could give both parties a solid chance to get over that hump and hoist the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy once again.

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Jonathan has worked as a sports writer covering NBA and NFL news since 2017. He's a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Vikings.