Despite all the rumors and speculation surrounding the Brooklyn Nets, little to no movement has happened within the organization since the opening of the NBA free agency period. For those who may be tardy to the party, the Nets face a grim decision with the future of their All-Star tandem of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. Durant requested a trade from the franchise at the opening of free agency. And after Kyrie only played 29 games for the franchise last season because he refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the franchise has shopped him to other teams as well.
But so far, there hasn’t been any traction on a deal for either star. The Nets have been adamant about not moving Durant unless they receive an offer worthy of them trading their franchise player. And the trade market for Irving is Los Angeles Lakers or bust, as teams are reluctant to make a deal for him because of his sporadic availability over the last three seasons.
During a recent episode of the “No Chill” podcast, retired All-Star guard Gilbert Arenas proposed a trade where the Lakers get both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, and the Nets get Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook in return.
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Arenas: Nets, Lakers Superstar Swap Is ‘Fair Trade’
Brooklyn having Westbrook and Davis to pair with Ben Simmons could work. Despite both of their stars being on the trading block, they still have the desire to be title contenders. With a floor-spacing big man like AD, Westbrook’s speed and athleticism paired with the playmaking and defensive abilities of Simmons, the Nets could have the formula to remain competitive.
And from the Lakers’ side of things, adding Kyrie and KD to create a ‘Big 3’ with Lakers superstar LeBron James would be scary for the league. With both squads looking to bounce back from disappointing seasons in 2022, Arenas says that it is a deal where neither team comes out as a loser.
“Lakers are the only team that’s suited to make a deal work. Because it’s less paperwork. I can straight up trade Kyrie for Russ, and Kevin Durant for Anthony Davis. It’s a fair trade on both sides,” Arenas said.
“You can possibly give the Nets someone young… But other than that you can do straight-up two stars for two stars. Both teams feel like, “We got something out of it”.
Insider Drops Truth Bomb About Irving to Lakers Holdup
The Nets and Lakers have had on-and-off-again trade talks as both teams are looking to make significant roster shake-ups before NBA training camps open in the fall. The Lakers are invested in unloading Russell Westbrook’s contract but are trying to do so for a bargain.
Jovan Buha of “The Athletic” says the Lakers have been unwilling to give up multiple draft picks in any trade packages with the Nets for Irving. And that has been the major roadblock that has prevented the deal.
“Any Russ trade is going to require draft compensation. From what I’ve been told, the Lakers do not want to give up that second first-round pick. I think if they were willing to do two first-round picks, Kyrie would be a Laker right now,” Buha said during a recent appearance on ESPN.
“That’s as good of an offer as Brooklyn is going to realistically get for Kyrie is two first-round picks and a big expiring in Russ. I think that deal would have gone down had the Lakers been willing to do that up to this point. I think the haggling is really on that second piece.”
The Lakers and Nets remain in a tug of war for leverage in a potential blockbuster trade. It will be interesting to see who comes out as the winner.