What looked this week like the Brooklyn Nets could be preparing for Kevin Durant to return to Brooklyn next season finally got some much-needed clarity. Durant met with team owner Joe Tsai this weekend in London, and Durant stated that Tsai would need to choose between him or Steve Nash and Sean Marks. Now, Tsai will need to choose if he moves forward with the team’s general manager and head coach or its generational talent that a year ago the team signed to a four-year extension.
If Tsai chooses to keep Marks and Nash over Durant, you can likely expect them to move on from Kyrie Irving. Irving has so turned off Brooklyn that one NBA Insider wrote that the Nets could look to exercise their stretch-and-waive provision to be rid of him. The one team that has remained in pursuit of Irving is the Los Angeles Lakers, as LeBron James has been clamoring for an Irving reunion behind the scenes. A recent trade proposal found a three-way deal that could bring the Nets enough of a return to finally complete a deal to trade Kyrie Irving.
Utah Helps Lakers Facilitate Three-Way Trade for Kyrie Irving
Previous reports have had teams being unwilling to help Brooklyn facilitate a deal to trade Kevin Durant, but in an August 8 article for Bleacher Report, Greg Swartz shared a proposal for Irving that could work. The Utah Jazz have been openly shopping much of their roster this offseason and have been a team that could be willing to take on the burden of the Russell Westbrook contract if they continue to rebuild. This makes them a possible trade partner in a Nets three-team trade involving Kyrie Irving.
The proposal Swartz shared had the Los Angeles Lakers, Utah Jazz, and Brooklyn Nets all successfully negotiating a deal.
Brooklyn Nets Receive: F Bojan Bogdanovic, SG Malik Beasley, 2023 second-round pick (via Los Angeles Lakers)
Los Angeles Lakers Receive: PG Kyrie Irving, G Patrick Beverley, F Rudy Gay
Utah Jazz Receive: 2027 and 2029 first-round picks (unprotected via Los Angeles Lakers), SG Max Christie, G/F Talen Horton-Tucker, PG Russell Westbrook (to be bought out)
In the deal, the Jazz add to their growing pile of picks with two first round draft picks and two young Lakers for taking on the Westbrook contract, which they would buy out. Brooklyn gets Utah’s high-scoring and sharpshooting forward, Bojan Bogdanovic, in the deal as well as Malik Beasley, who remains unpredictable what type of consistency he will bring after the Minnesota Timberwolves gave him his $60 million contract. They also receive a second round pick in the deal. The Lakers successfully negotiate a reunion between Irving and LeBron James and get key pieces of Patrick Beverley and Rudy Gay in return.
Who Wins The Deal?
If a deal like this gets done, the next step always seems to be the question on who won the deal? The Lakers may be the clearest answer as they get rid of the nearly impossible contract of Westbrook, get another impressive piece in Patrick Beverley as well as a serviceable big man in Gay.
Brooklyn gets rid of the drama of Kyrie, but it isn’t a great return with players or picks for them in a superstar trade.
Utah gets picks and young players to rebuild with.
The Lakers would likely be the considered winner of the deal.