Kevin Durant’s trade request from the Brooklyn Nets, which came not long after Kyrie Irving’s own trade request, is holding up the rest of the NBA free agency as teams wait for the dominoes to fall before making their next move. Deals are still being signed – including Danilo Gallinari’s mid-tier special deal with the Boston Celtics, signed on day one of free agency – but a large body of free agents are waiting to see which teams will spend money or who will give them the best Chance at an NBA championship.
Durant and Irving both have likely targets in mind. For the soon-to-be 34-year-old, Durant’s preferred position is to join fellow NBA draft pick-turned Chris Paul in the mid-2000s and rising young All-Star Devin Booker in Phoenix. Irving, meanwhile, wishes to see his 2016 NBA Champion with the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James, at the Los Angeles Lakers alongside Anthony Davis to form an even more formidable trio than the Suns are hoping to form.
Those are the most likely destinations for both, but no agreement has been reached so far. Brooklyn isn’t too interested in Phoenix’s Deandre Ayton or the Lakers’ Russell Westbrook — likely causing negotiations between the Nets and those squads to go in circles. Both the Suns and Lakers are the betting favorites for their respective goals, but the longer that drags on, the greater the chance that a surprise team will swoop in and steal one of them.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst envisioned the possibility of the Lakers putting together a package, presumably involving Davis and Westbrook, that would tie the Durant-Irving pairing together. As intriguing as that sounds, the Nets could actually get more immediate value from another team since LA doesn’t have a tradeable pick until 2027.
One such deal is the Miami Heat, which has enough win-now pieces and future assets to fascinate Brooklyn and has a player the Boston Celtics are interested in with their $17.1 million Evan Fournier TPE are interested.
That bogus trade sends Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving into the Heat and adds Duncan Robinson to the Boston Celtics roster
Kyle Lowry, Nikola Jovic
2024 Miami Heat first-round draft pick, 2026 Miami Heat first-round draft pick, 2028 Miami Heat first-round draft pick, 2030 Miami Heat first-round pick, picks swaps in 2023, 2025, and 2027, 2023 Portland Trailblazers second-round pick (via Boston)
It’s pretty simple for the Boston Celtics: Grab a shooter to complement a starting five that led the entire league in net scoring (12 points/100 possessions better than the second-best team), defensive scoring, and offense scoring Third was (h/ t NBC Sports Boston’s Max Lederman).
With the Miami Heat, it’s almost as simple. Bam Adebayo has the highest cap of any player available in a Durant trade, and while Pat Riley would likely pause to give up Bam for KD alone, he would consider doing so for Irving as well. The Heat’s new “Big 3” Durant, Irving and Jimmy Butler would be in good hands for a franchise that proved capable in the early 2010s of building a roster around a star-studded trio that included LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosch.
Brooklyn has no better overall return than any other team in the NBA. Adebayo, Tyler Herro and Nikola Jovic are legitimate building blocks and Kyle Lowry keeps the team competitive in the meantime. You would get the maximum number of draft picks and pick swaps allowed from this deal.
who says no