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#pounditFriday, August 12, 2022

Report: 1 surprise team hoping to recruit Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant in street clothes

Feb 3, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Kevin Durant (7) smiles during a time out during the second quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Virtually every NBA team will at least want to check in on Kevin Durant after the star demanded a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. Some teams will be willing to go further than others, however, and there may be some surprises in the mix.

One of those surprises may be the New Orleans Pelicans. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst revealed on his “Hoop Collective” podcast that the Pelicans are hopeful of being given the chance to recruit Durant, as they believe head coach Willie Green could sell the star on the organization’s vision. Green has a pre-existing connection, as he was an assistant for the Golden State Warriors when Durant played there.

“Here’s the Pelicans’ card they’re going to play, from what I’m told. Willie Green, who is their well-respected, well liked head coach, was an assistant in Golden State when Durant was there. What they would like is for the Nets, if they like the option, to let them speak with Durant, and let Willie attempt to sell the vision that they have and use the relationship that they have,” Windhorst said.

Windhorst did note that there was no guarantee the Nets would permit the Pelicans to meet with Durant, and even if they did, there is no certainty that Durant would be willing to take such a meeting.

This does seem to involve an element of wishful thinking on the Pelicans’ part, though they would theoretically have a decent scenario to offer. They have a solid core of players, including two under-25 stars in Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson, plus a veteran leader in CJ McCollum. One issue is that it is hard to see how the Pelicans could put together a trade package for Durant without at least one of Ingram or Williamson, at least based on what the Nets are demanding right now. That would arguably defeat the purpose of bringing Durant in as the missing piece.

Most speculation at the moment has one team as the favorite to ultimately land Durant. As long as nothing appears close, however, expect many other organizations to at least try to take a shot.

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