Kevin Durant to the Rockets? Why Houston loaded up on future draft picks as Suns trade rumors heat up

The NBA offseason got into full swing on eve of the 2024 draft when the Nets sent forward Mikal Bridges to the Knicks in a blockbuster trade.

It wasn’t, however, the only trade Brooklyn made on Tuesday. The Nets also made an under-the-radar swap with the Rockets to reacquire some of its own draft picks it had sent to Houston in the James Harden trade.

Houston received a solid package of picks in return, and that led to speculation that the Rockets could be planning a big move during the 2024 offseason.

Who could the Rockets be targeting in a trade? Kevin Durant was the name brought up as a potential veteran addition to the team’s young, explosive core.

Here’s what to know about the Durant to the Rockets rumors and whether the Suns would consider such a deal.

MIKAL BRIDGES TRADE: Full details | Grades | Knicks cap space

Rockets and Nets trade details

To understand the Durant to the Rockets rumors, one first must comprehend the trade Houston executed on Tuesday with Brooklyn.

The Rockets acquired two first-round picks and two pick swaps from the Nets in exchange for returning control of Brooklyn’s 2025 first-round pick and its 2026 first-round pick (originally acquired in the James Harden trade). Below are the full details of that trade:

Rockets acquire:

  • 2027 first-round pick (via Suns)
  • 2029 first-round pick (more favorable of Mavericks and Suns picks)
  • 2029 pick swap rights (less favorable of Mavericks and Suns picks)

Nets acquire:

  • 2026 first-round pick (via Nets)
  • Houston surrenders right to 2025 first-round pick swap
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The Nets made this trade to give themselves control over their own assets as they head for a rebuild. After acquiring five first-round picks and rights to a pick swap in the Mikal Bridges trade, they had ammunition to spare, so surrendering these assets to retake control of their own destiny is sensible.

Meanwhile, the Rockets’ pursuit was all about trying to land a big fish on the trade market.

MORE: Why Knicks gave up five first-round picks for two years of Mikal Bridges

Kevin Durant to the Rockets rumors

Could that high-end Rockets trade target be Kevin Durant? The Suns may not be willing to trade Durant now, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi reports.

That said, Phoenix could change its mind if the team doesn’t contend during the 2024-25 season. Should the Suns pull the plug on its core of Devin Booker, Bradley Beal and Kevin Durant, the Rockets would be well-positioned to put together a competitive offer to land the top-tier veteran scorer and former MVP.

Why? Because Houston would allow Phoenix a chance to regain control of its own draft-pick destiny.

Controlling one’s own draft assets is a major help for teams navigating rebuilds. That’s part of the reason the Nets were willing to surrender so many assets solely to get their 2026 first-round pick back from the Rockets.

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That doesn’t guarantee Phoenix will hold its own picks in high regard. If the Suns believe they are a contender, they would be uninterested in reacquiring those picks under the assumption that they’d be late-round selections.

That’s currently where the Suns stand, per Wojnarowski. As such, the Rockets may need to look elsewhere for a potential upgrade.

But if the Rockets are patient — whether willingly or unwillingly — they could reap massive rewards. That may not only include a pursuit of Durant, but perhaps also one of Devin Booker if the wheels fall off for the Suns, per Wojnarowski.

The Suns appear committed to keeping things together, but if the team endures any struggles in the coming years, expect the Rockets to be among those calling to bid on Phoenix’s “Big 3.”


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