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Per Shams: Grizzlies interested in trading for Kevin Durant

The Grizzlies are interested in acquiring the generational talents of Kevin Durant.

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Brooklyn Nets v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

Talk about a Monday news drop. The Memphis Grizzlies are getting in on the Kevin Durant trade saga.

While the timing may be a bit of a surprise, the Grizzlies' pursuit of Durant makes plenty of logical sense. Following a season in which Memphis unexpectedly had the second-best record in the league and became a surprise contender, the Grizzlies wanting to add a generational talent to continue contending for titles makes complete sense. When you add in it is Kevin Durant and the roster needs he would resolve, it is a no-brainer when it comes to the Grizzlies’ interest.

Despite their interest itself, one notable aspect of the Grizzlies’ pursuit of Durant is how they are looking to position their trade package. Memphis’s focus is using their stash of future picks. Compared to other contenders, the Grizzlies’ package of picks could be very attractive due to a high quantity of picks with less restrictions. If the Nets are looking to future as flexible and potentially as strong as possible, this type of package could be their target.

However, one other significant part of the Grizzlies’ current pursuit is that they are currently reluctant to include Desmond Bane or Jaren Jackson Jr. in their offer. This makes complete sense for the Grizzlies, as the reasoning behind the pursuit of Durant is to add him to one of the best young trios in the NBA. However, Brooklyn has placed a priority on getting good, young NBA talent and a package of picks so far in trade talks. Other teams have already reportedly made strong offers combining both players and picks. For the Grizzlies to actually trade for Durant, it may come down to their willingness to part with Bane or Jackson Jr.

Fresh off a 56-win season, the Grizzlies have made new inquiries to the Nets about Durant, those sources added. Memphis has five first-round draft picks available (four unprotected selections of its own and one protected via Golden State in 2024) to theoretically utilize in a trade as well as young players like Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane, Ziaire Williams, Brandon Clarke, Kennedy Chandler and David Roddy.

Obviously, there are many angles to speculate when it comes to Memphis’s reported interest in Durant. Overall, it is exciting to know that Memphis truly is continuing to monitor ways to fully embrace their status as a contender. With just under two months left before the start of the season, it will be interesting to see if, when, and where Durant is finally traded.

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