The NBA offseason has quickly become a spectacle in its own right over the past few years and it’s not just because of the NBA draft and free agency, but because of the trade talks that happen daily. between all teams in the league.
Before free agency even started this offseason, the NBA world was in a frenzy when Kevin Durant asked for a trade from the Brooklyn Nets.
It’s not just any player, it’s Kevin Durant, probably a Top 10, maybe a Top 5 of the best scorers in NBA history!
Almost every team in the league has contacted the Nets about a possible trade for the twelve-time All-Star and two-time Finals MVP, but no deal has yet been reached.
Will Durant be on the move this summer?
Also with the Brooklyn Nets, Kyrie Irving’s future continues to hang in the air, not just because of Durant’s business demand, but because of the drama that surrounded him throughout his time in Brooklyn.
Will Irving be on the move?
Across the country in Salt Lake City, the Utah Jazz recently traded All-Star Rudy Gobert and they appear to be on their way to rebuilding with All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell at the center of it all.
However, does Mitchell really want to go through tough years with the Jazz as he plays some of the best basketball of his young career?
Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Donovan Mitchell all remain the biggest question marks of this NBA offseason and every day they continue to be brought up in trade rumors. Here are three trades we could see unfold in the coming weeks involving the three All-Stars.
Phoenix Suns go “All-In” for a championship
Phoenix Suns receives: F Kevin Durant
Brooklyn Nets receives: C Deandre Ayton (sign-and-trade), F Mikal Bridges, F Cam Johnson, PHX 2023 1st Round Pick (Unprotected), PHX 2025 1st Round Pick (Unprotected), PHX 2027 1st Round Pick (Top -4 Protected), PHX 2028 1st Round Pick (Trade, more favorable to BKN), PHX 2029 1st Round Pick (Top-4 Protected)
One of the teams named as an ideal destination for Kevin Durant is the Phoenix Suns. After appearing in the 2021 NBA Finals and winning a franchise-record 64 games last season, getting Durant could very well be the decision that helps Phoenix win its first championship.
Recently signing Devin Booker to a long-term extension, he cannot be included in any trade proposal for Durant, however, the Suns have yet to make a decision on restricted free agent Deandre Ayton and they continue to use him. as “commercial bait” in a screenplay for Kevin Durant.
The Nets want a superstar-caliber All-Star player in exchange for Durant, which is why a deal hasn’t been finalized yet.
In terms of fair deals coming this offseason, this proposal from the Suns is quite possibly the best deal the Nets will end up seeing. Deandre Ayton is a borderline All-Star talent at center position, a spot on the floor Brooklyn needs to address, and Mikal Bridges was a first-team All-Defense performer during the 2021-22 season.
Cameron Johnson is just 26 and bringing in four first-round picks allows the Nets to bring back assets they gave up for James Harden in 2021.
Obviously the Nets would like a player like Devin Booker back in exchange for Kevin Durant, one of the best players on the planet, but that kind of deal will only ever happen in NBA 2K because teams don’t are just not ready to give up. their young superstars for a 33-year-old player who recently tore his Achilles tendon, even though that player is actually Kevin Durant!
The Nets add depth, youth, skill and various draft picks to this deal, which is why it’s probably the best deal they’ll see this offseason.
For Phoenix, they should be willing to give up as many draft picks and as many guys not named Devin Booker and Chris Paul to acquire Kevin Durant from Brooklyn. Booker is already becoming one of the best pure scorers of this generation and with Paul’s ability to facilitate and get the ball to Booker and Durant, there would be no stopping the Phoenix Suns.
Obviously depth could end up being an issue if they trade Ayton, Bridges and Johnson, but the Suns would still have Cameron Payne, Landry Shamet, Torey Craig and they recently agreed to minimum deals with Damion Lee and Josh Okogie in free agency. .
If they are to make a deal for Kevin Durant, the Phoenix Suns will be the best team in the NBA and they will be heavy favorites to win the 2023 NBA Finals.
Kyrie Irving reunites with LeBron James in Los Angeles
Los Angeles Lakers receive: G Kyrie Irving, G/F Joe Harris
Brooklyn Nets receive: G Russell Westbrook, G Talen Horton-Tucker, LAL/NOP 2023 1st Round Pick (NOP owns right to trade with LAL)
Along with the Kevin Durant-Phoenix Suns trade storyline gaining a lot of traction, a storyline in which Kyrie Irving is traded to the Los Angeles Lakers is also making headlines right now.
The Lakers’ interest in Irving is very real right now and it looks like Kyrie wants to team up with LeBron James. Not to mention that Kyrie Irving is also good friends with Anthony Davis.
This Irving-Davis-James trio would instantly become the best trio in the entire league, just from a pure talent standpoint, as all three guys are complete mismatches for anyone guarding them.
Kyrie Irving and LeBron James won a title together in 2016 against the Golden State Warriors. With Anthony Davis now on their side, it wouldn’t be hard to believe the Los Angeles Lakers could make it to the NBA Finals with a chance for another title on the line.
The complication of this trade, however, is Russell Westbrook, as no team in the league has wanted to trade for him in the past year. In fact, no team wanted to trade for Westbrook other than Los Angeles when they acquired him last offseason!
Brooklyn has shown no willingness to make a deal like this with LA and it’s easy to see why. In this deal highlighted above, which has been widely speculated, the Nets really have nothing to gain.
Talen Horton-Tucker hasn’t proven he can be a young entry-level talent for three seasons in the league and his contract isn’t the best considering he’s signed until the 2023-24 season and that he still owes around $21 million, should he pick up his option for the 2023-24 season.
Russell Westbrook is on an expiring contract, but that’s really the only value the Nets would get from this deal. Trading Irving to Los Angeles in this package yields almost no real assets in Brooklyn, which is why they could most likely keep Kyrie Irving and let him sit in a worst-case scenario rather than making a trade like this.
Nonetheless, league fans continue to push for a Lakers-Nets trade involving Irving.
Pat Riley adds yet another superstar to Miami
Miami Heat receives: G Donovan Mitchell
Utah Jazz receives: F Duncan Robinson, G Tyler Herro, G Haywood Highsmith, MIA 2023 1st Round Pick (unprotected), MIA 2026 1st Round Pick (trade, more favorable to UTA), MIA 2027 1st Round Pick (Top-4 Protected ), MIA 2029 1st Round Pick (Top-4 Protected)
Perhaps the least likely of the three trades here is one involving Donovan Mitchell going to the Miami Heat. Right now the Utah Jazz have signaled to every team in the league that they will not be trading Mitchell and that they want him to be the face of their franchise as they build around him, but is this really what Donovan Mitchell really wants?
Now through five seasons in the NBA with the Jazz, Mitchell has made the All-Star Game for three consecutive seasons and he’s on his way to being an All-NBA talent.
Turning 26 in September, the Utah All-Star guard will be entering the early years of his career, years he could very well use to win a championship.
Utah however, especially after trading Rudy Gobert, doesn’t seem to be in a position to challenge for a title. Jumping ship now and asking for a trade is something Donovan Mitchell is not only capable of doing, but something the Heat are watching closely.
They may be involved in the Kevin Durant trade talks, but Miami has already been named suitor for Mitchell and would love the opportunity to team him up with Kyle Lowry, Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler.
This deal would almost certainly result in Miami forfeiting the last part of its capital project and it wouldn’t be an easy thing to do either because of all the choices they currently lack.
If Mitchell asked for a trade, Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro would instantly be two vital parts of that trade, but the vast majority of what the Jazz would want comes in the form of draft picks. Getting a first-round pick in 2023 and then having to wait until 2027 to get the rest of their draft compensation might not be too favorable for what Utah has planned for over the years.
A trade like this is certainly possible, however, the Jazz are going to want immediate base assets in exchange for a player like Donovan Mitchell should they request a trade. it’s not hard to believe the Jazz would want a better package than what they just received for Rudy Gobert, which consisted of four first-round picks, a first-round pick trade and five players.
It’s unlikely Utah would see fair value in this Heat proposal.