The dust has barely settled on Kyrie Irving’s trade from the Brooklyn Nets to the Dallas Mavericks and already whispers have emerged surrounding Kevin Durant’s future in New York.
A Los Angeles Lakers trade package to get Nets star Kevin Durant
Although the Nets are unlikely to actively shop Durant before the deadline, the former MVP may demand a trade if he is unhappy with the team’s trajectory. The Nets would then be forced to trade Durant for a large package of assets.
The Lakers aren’t the first team that comes to mind when thinking about a new home for the Nets, and they might not even have the best offer in terms of financial stability.
The Los Angeles Lakers, unable to acquire Kyrie Irving, have turned to secondary trade targets in an effort to bolster the team’s playoff push.
There is a good chance that Durant could join the Lakers if he wanted to, as superstars in the league now have more influence than ever.
Even without Kevin Durant, the return of those players to the Brooklyn Nets makes this a massive deal. There are many ifs and buts in this trade, and each side has its own reasons for seeking out and including certain players.
It’s a lot for both sets of fans to take in, and it may not be the best return the Nets could get for Durant, but it’s a realistic one if he insists on moving to the Lakers.
- Lakers get: Kevin Durant, Joe Harris
- Nets get: Rusell Westbrook, Lonnie Walker IV, Max Christie, Austin Reaves, 2027 and 2029 first-round picks, 2028 and 2039 picks swaps, 2023 second-round picks
Why the Brooklyn Nets might agree to this trade for Kevin Durant?
Besides receiving two very valuable pick swaps in 2028 and 2030, Brooklyn also acquires the two most sought-after first-round picks available in this offseason’s trade market. If Brooklyn were to trade for five or six picks from a team like Memphis, which almost certainly picks in the 20s every year, they might be better off with these four.
This is less than what Brooklyn paid James Harden two years ago, but Durant is older and more prone to injury now. As a bonus, Brooklyn is able to clear Joe Harris’s salary off the books for the upcoming season by including him in the trade.
After seemingly negotiating in bad faith with the Lakers over Kyrie Irving, it’s hard to imagine Brooklyn making significant concessions to acquire Durant. However, the Nets may be more willing to give Durant what he wants because he hasn’t burned them as badly as Kyrie has.
Although this is not the best return for Durant, it is still very good for a player who was heavily shopped over the summer but received no serious offers.
The reasons why the Los Angeles Lakers might accept a trade for Kevin Durant:
The Lakers have a first-round selection in 2023 (and may even get their own pick back from New Orleans). Then, New Orleans will receive either the 2024 or 2025 selection (but not both).
This makes it much easier for Los Angeles to justify trading four first-round picks for Durant, as the team will have three first-round selections in the next four drafts.
In exchange for one of the 15 best players of all time who is still performing at an MVP level, the Lakers would have to give up a lot of their future. If all three of Anthony Davis, LeBron James, and Kevin Durant can maintain their current levels of health over the next three years, they should be able to win the NBA championship each year.
Losing young talent would be a bummer, but both Austin Reaves and Lonnie Walker IV will be free agents at the end of the season. Harris has a large contract, but he can still make clutch three-pointers, so his salary is manageable.
Do the Lakers want to put their future plans at risk? Whatever the case may be, they’re the kind of team that’s bound to be mentioned in rumors like these.