It may be the beginning of the end for the Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant era as members of the Brooklyn Nets. Irving is currently serving a team-issued suspension for promoting an antisemitic film. Team governors Joe and Clara Wu Tsai reportedly considered waiving Irving after watching the film. An NBA scout revealed the Nets are likely “highly-motivated” to trade Irving before his contract expires this summer.
The Kevin Durant trade rumors are back as well. A deal may wait for more players to be trade-eligible as the trade deadline approaches, but many believe that Durant could be traded this season as well. NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh also speculated that the Nets are moving away from their previously reported head coach candidate Ime Udoka could be a sign that they will move on from Durant too. Udoka was Durant’s guy, and after the latest with Irving, could the team be done with the experiment entirely? Haberstroh suggested that could be what led to the team not hiring Udoka to be their next head coach.
Eastern Conference Rival Interested in Durant Trade
If Kevin Durant is again available for trade, we know after this summer that a lot of teams will come calling, but an NBA executive recently confirmed to Heavy Sports’ NBA Insider Sean Deveney that the Philadelphia 76ers will be one of those teams and even suggested that the Sixers have already inquired about Durant.
“There is no doubt the Sixers have asked on Durant, they did in the summer, and will keep asking about him. But the Nets are going to be a little put off by them already because of the Ben Simmons thing, because they feel like they were set up to give away James Harden all along. So the Sixers burned them once, do the Nets want to go back and say, OK, sure, we’ll do a KD deal, too.
The main thing is, though, does Tyrese Maxey get put into the deal? Because then the Nets have to listen, they might not get a better young player than him in any deal they make for Durant. Maxey, Tobias Harris and (Matisse) Thybulle would work, but the Nets would not get any picks in the deal because Philly can’t offer any right now. If that is all that is on the table, Brooklyn would have to pass,” an executive told Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney.
The executive noted that Brooklyn might be hesitant to deal with Philly after the result of the Ben Simmons trade but also noted that if they do come calling, they have a potential package that may be enough for the Nets to accept or at the least consider.
Is Maxey, Harris, and Thybuille Enough for KD?
Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris, and Matisse Thybulle were linked by the executive as a potential return that is good enough for the Nets in a Durant deal and that the Sixers don’t have draft picks to put into the deal. It’s no secret that Maxey has talent and upside. He’s currently averaging 23.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists while shooting over 42% from three, but is that enough to headline a Durant trade? Harris has largely underachieved in his role with the Sixers, and Thybulle doesn’t bring anything a player like Royce O’Neale does. With every team calling is that enough? I don’t think it is, or should be.