The Brooklyn Nets appeared to be out of the woods with all of the drama after Kyrie Irving opted into his contract for the next season.
As it turns out, a bigger domino was just waiting to fall and it’s in the form of Kevin Durant requesting a trade out of Brooklyn, despite having a whopping four years left on his deal. Trades of this magnitude don’t come every day, so it’s expected that many teams will be calling about an offer.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat are two teams Durant would be open to going to.
With the Durant bombshell dropped, the future for Irving is now looking just as murky. Speaking on NBA Today, Wojnarowski revealed that he believes that not only has Durant played his last game in Brooklyn, but the same can be said for Irving.
Irving Out the Door Too
Although Irving opted into his deal which would put him under contract for another year, the sense is that he’ll be moved to another team now.
Wojnarowski reported the Lakers were one of the only teams interested in acquiring him, so look for those rumors to pop back up. Whatever the case may be, he feels the future is sealed for the point guard in Brooklyn.
“Very much everybody is in play in Brooklyn, certainly, and I think it’s very likely that not only Kevin Durant, but Kyrie Irving have their played their last games for the Nets,” he reported on NBA Today.
Strangely enough, this trade request comes on the same day three years both Durant and Irving said they would come to Brooklyn. The two didn’t play together a whole lot and when you factor in James Harden, this Nets team will go down as one of the biggest “What Ifs” in sports history.
What Can the Nets Get?
In trades for Irving and Durant, it’s expected the Nets would be asking for a massive haul in return.
Durant is under contract for four years, so whoever trades for him would have control of him through what will likely be the rest of his prime. The Suns would almost certainly have to include Deandre Ayton in a sign-and-trade deal if they want to acquire him.
For Irving, it now gets trickier since he opted into his deal. The Lakers appeared ready to sign him on a low $6 million deal, but with his $37 million player option now there, Los Angeles would have to work some magic.
An obvious choice would be Russell Westbrook, but that’s not likely to be a player the Nets will have much interest in. The Lakers would have to include young assets, draft picks and possibly Westbrook to get something going. It’ll be very tough if they’re interested in acquiring him.
Ben Simmons will now be another question mark as he was brought in to be the third star behind Durant and Irving, but now he could be thrust all the way into the spotlight as the lead star. This will definitely be an opportunity for him to prove he’s a star.
READ NEXT: Nets Linked to Deandre Ayton in Potential Trade, Says Insider