Just when the Kevin Durant sweepstakes had seemingly stalled, a surprise Western Conference contender reportedly entered the mix. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Memphis Grizzlies have expressed interest in acquiring the superstar forward.
With teams across the league continuing to fall short of Brooklyn’s historic asking price, it seems as if the Grizzlies are currently posturing in a similar manner. According to Charania, Memphis is currently unwilling to include Desmond Bane or Jaren Jackson Jr. in any deal for Durant; however, the team does have five first-round picks that could be of interest to Brooklyn.
Without Jackson or Bane, it would seem as if Memphis would fall well short of Brooklyn’s asking price that includes picks and young talent; however, with no other team presenting such an offer either, there could be a window of opportunity for the Grizzlies. The question now for Memphis, is how aggressive should they get?
Is KD worth it?
The question that many teams have been pondering over the two months, is how much is Kevin Durant worth? There is no exact answer to this question, and it will vary for each team depending on their current situation. For the Memphis Grizzlies, who just lost in the Western Conference Semi-Finals, Kevin Durant could realistically be the difference between a second-round exit and a championship run. That is, of course, is they can maintain their core pieces.
With one of the younger cores in the league, especially amongst playoff teams, the Memphis Grizzlies are not in a position where their championship window has has a foreseeable end date. Star point guard Ja Morant is just 23-years-old, Jaren Jackson Jr. is only 22, and Desmond Bane is 24. Despite their youth, the Grizzlies were the Western Conference’s two-seed last year, and were eliminated by the eventual NBA champions.
Parting ways with one of their young pieces in exchange for Kevin Durant would make the Grizzlies a bigger championship threat for the near future, but it would drastically shorten what is one of the league’s longer championship windows. Between the departure of at least one young piece, along with several draft choices, the pressure would be on Memphis to win it all immediately. Continuing to establish their young core while maintaining flexibility for the future seems to be the more optimal path, and the Grizzlies’ current unwillingness to include Jackson or Bane in any deal for Durant indicates they feel similarly.