Kevin Durant has requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. Naturally, when any star is seeking a change of scenery in the modern NBA, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers enter the chat.
Admittedly, Kyrie Irving is more likely to find his way to Los Angeles. But, the Lakers can't be totally ruled out as a Durant destination for one reason: Anthony Davis.
Undoubtedly, Rob Pelinka should absolutely call Sean Marks to inquire about a blockbuster centered around an AD-for-KD swap. Here's the best offer Pelinka could make on that call, without getting into complex multi-team scenarios.
Lakers receive: Kevin Durant ($44M cap hit in 2022-23)
Nets receive: Anthony Davis ($38M), Talen Horton-Tucker ($10.2M), Kendrick Nunn ($5.2M), Max Christie (minimum), unprotected 2027 first-round pick, unprotected 2029 first-round pick, any other second-rounders and cash considerations Brooklyn asks for
The salaries line up. The Lakers throw in their two tradeable first-rounders, their 19-year-old recent draft selection (Christie), 21-year-old THT, and the final year of Nunn, who, at 26, might be the second-best player in the trade.
Would the Nets accept that deal? Probably not. Brooklyn will surely want a younger, more durable star for Durant, and likely more — and less distant — picks. Horton-Tucker, Nunn, Christie, Austin Reaves, Stanley Johnson, and Wenyen Gabriel are decent young guys but represent relative flotsam in terms of moving the needle in a KD package (sorry to those men).
Realistically, the Lakers would likely need at least one other team to get involved to sweeten the pot for the Nets — perhaps in exchange for the aforementioned names.
Of course, there's one more scenario that I'd be remiss (I think) not to at least mention. In the wake of Woj saying that Kyrie and KD would still be open to the idea of playing together outside of Brooklyn, Brian Windhorst (after taking a long, deep breath) shared that league sources have expressed belief that the Lakers would be the only team who could and would entertain this idea.
"It has been floated to me by executives that if they were to be kept together, the Lakers would potentially have a package that you could trade for both of them."@WindhorstESPN heard LA 'could' trade for both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving 🤯pic.twitter.com/ELIffdSIP4
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) June 30, 2022