Kevin Durant to the Suns Rumors Continue as Sportsbooks React

Normally, today would be Futures Friday for the NFL, but I’m taking a break from that weekly column to discuss the wild futures movement in the NBA this week. Kevin Durant, the two-time champion, 12-time All-Star, and ten-time All-NBA talent, requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday. Controversy and toxicity in Brooklyn had been brewing since the beginning of their Durant and Irving era, and the results could reshape how we view superstar trades in the future.

Phoenix Suns the Likely Landing Spot

Following Durant’s trade request, NBA insiders reported that the superstar forward wished to be traded either to the Phoenix Suns or the Miami Heat so he could play with Devin Booker or Jimmy Butler, respectively. Incidentally, those two teams were the #1 seeds in the NBA last season.

The Heat opened as the early favorites to land Durant, but that quickly shifted after the NBA’s quirky rule regarding designated rookie extensions was made known. Essentially, the Nets would be unable to trade for Bam Adebayo with Ben Simmons already on the roster as they were both given designated rookie extensions. Adebayo would likely be a core piece of the trade.

As the day went on, the Suns’ odds continued to move to the point that they are now somewhere around even money to land Durant. DraftKings Sportsbook even had the Suns at around 2-to-1 odds to land Durant on Thursday following his odds sitting at about +200 when the trade request was first made known.

Suns Title Favorites?

The Phoenix Suns have been in the NBA Championship conversation recently after landing Chris Paul before the 2020-21 season. In the 2021 playoffs, they fell to the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Finals, and in the 2022 playoffs, they fell to the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Semi-Finals. They held a 2-0 lead in both series.

After Kevin Durant to the Suns, rumors began to circulate heavily, the Suns’ odds to win the championship jumped from around the fifth or sixth-highest to the favorite to win the title on many books. On BetOnline, the Suns are still the favorites to win, although the Celtics jumped them on FanDuel after their trade acquisition of Malcolm Brogdon. The Nets’ title odds fell from 15-2 to 30-1 on Caesars on Wednesday.

What Will a Kevin Durant Trade Entail?

If you’re looking into betting on the Suns winning the title, you will be interested in knowing what the trade for Durant will entail. Initially, the expectation was that DeAndre Ayton would be included in the trade, but the Nets reportedly aren’t interested in trading for the big man. Other teams in the Jazz and Pacers have since expressed interest in trading for Ayton, and the possibility of a three-team trade has emerged.

The Jazz traded away Rudy Gobert on Friday, which would open up a starting spot at the center position for them. As they look to rebuild around Donovan Mitchell and additional youth, they could be interested in trading multiple first-round picks for Ayton, who is still only 23 years old. That would give the Suns the necessary draft capital ammunition to round out their offer for Kevin Durant.

The Suns appear to be the most likely landing spot for Kevin Durant, and it’s expected that the teams will agree to the framework for a trade by the end of the weekend. We’ll continue to have you covered with all of the latest news about trades and free agency signings around the NBA.

I've been writing about sports for Lineups since the beginning of 2020 and on my own website since 2018. In May 2021, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in sport management. As the United States embarks on an exciting journey towards the legalization of sports betting, I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to cover industry news, NFL and NBA odds, and more.

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