The Trail Blazers should do whatever it takes to resurrect the Kevin Durant sweepstakes


On August 23rd, 2022 Kevin Durant agreed to move forward with his partnership with the Brooklyn Nets, head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks. Although it feels like the smoke has cleared and Durant seems to have settled back in Brooklyn, the dust has not settled just yet.

Even being a two-time NBA champion, holding one regular season MVP, two finals MVPs, four NBA scoring titles, one rookie of the year award from 2007 and being selected to the NBA all-star game 12 times, Durant has seemingly lost respect in the basketball world.

Ever since he left the Golden State Warriors in 2019, he’s seen LeBron James win a championship in the NBA bubble in 2020. James left his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers after bringing them a title in 2016 to start a new powerhouse in the west that later included all-star Anthony Davis. Durant has also witnessed Giannis Antetokounmpo secure his first NBA championship in 2021 by remaining loyal to the Milwaukee Bucks and building his team from within. Most recently, Steph Curry proved he didn’t need Durant after all and even at 34 years old secured his fourth championship alongside Klay Thompson and Draymond Green in 2022.

So where does this leave Durant’s legacy? Is he truly the game changer and offensive force he is supposed to be? One way to prove that would be to lead the Brooklyn Nets to a championship in the foreseeable future. Another way could be to battle alongside his 2020 Olympics teammates, Damian Lillard and Jerami Grant in Portland.

If the Blazers want to keep Lillard happy and build around him, they need to make a show-stopping move. Lillard’s two-year extension worth about $225 million was the initial domino to fall. He has proved his loyalty to his team and has shown why he is considered to be one of the top 75 NBA players of all time. Now is the time for him to focus on bringing a championship to Portland.

In order to do so, Portland will need to sell the farm to bring in a game changing presence to Rip City. The team has already experienced a defensive upgrade by bringing in borderline all star Jerami Grant and defensive stud Gary Payton II. Although this move may give up the future of this team, it’s clear that Lillard is the present of this franchise and it’s time to capitalize on his prime.

Lillard, Grant and Durant reportedly got close during their time playing for Team USA, and it was reported that Lillard and Durant went to bat to get Grant on the team. Having an existing familiarity and camraderie will allow the team to quickly establish roles and chemistry on the court, which is essential to a championship run.

If Durant were to end up in Portland, he will be the first all star to play alongside Lillard since playing with LaMarcus Aldridge in 2015. This would give Lillard the perfect running mate (sorry C.J. McCollum) to spearhead a next level offensive force. Grant has shown his offensive versatility while being a stout defender, which is exactly what Lillard needs by his side. With new teammate Gary Payton II and longtime Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic by his side, this starting lineup could give opposing coaches headaches.

The issue with trading for Durant is giving up not just the future of the team, but the bench as well. In this proposed trade, the Blazers give up two potential starters and three bench players, along with three first round picks. The Blazers could work their way up this trade, however seeing the ridiculous trade offers being rejected by opposing teams and the Brooklyn Nets, something huge will have to come the Nets way for them to part with the generational talent.

With his salary, Payton II would be poised to start alongside Lillard in this scenario, however an easy fill-in could be young guard Keon Johnson (if he were to not be included in this trade). He has shown flashes of his athleticism and potential. With a newfound role, he could develop into a spark of youth the Blazers would need if this trade were to go through.

Of course, this would mean breaking up the Lillard and Simons duo before it really materializes. Anfernee is a younger guard who could potentially work his way up to be an all-star one day. He has shown plenty of flashes of scoring, playmaking and defensive capabilities, and his sky-high ceiling should be the most intriguing to the Nets.

Shaedon Sharpe should be intriguing as well, since we still haven’t truly seen his play on the court for some time now. He could quickly develop into one of the better young players in the league, and could be what a rebuilding Nets squad could be looking for.

Josh Hart and Justise Winslow come in to fill the salary and bring a veteran presence to a team that could use some potential. Josh Hart played well once he was traded to Portland in the 2022 season and Winslow still has the chance to develop into the player he once was sought out to be.

In the end, however the trade works, it would need to work well so both sides come out on top. If the Nets want to enter a rebuilding stage and send Durant somewhere where he can potentially win his third championship, Portland should be one of the first teams on their list to call. A Kyrie Irving trade would likely follow as the Nets complete their reboot and balance out what is currently a guard-heavy roster.



Kevin Durant


Anfernee Simons

Josh Hart

Justice Winslow

Shaedon Sharpe

2024 1st Round Pick

2026 1st Round Pick

2028 1st Round Pick


Damian Lillard
Gary Payton II
Jerami Grant
Kevin Durant
Jusuf Nurkic

Nassir Little
Keon Johnson
Trendon Watford
Greg Brown