Proposed Blockbuster Trade Sees Nets Land $193 Million All-Star

Kyrie Irving Kevin Durant Nets

Getty Brooklyn Nets stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant look on during a playoff game against the Boston Celtics.

As it stands, Kevin Durant is still a member of the Brooklyn Nets. But after requesting a trade from the franchise on June 30, nobody knows how much longer he will be a part of the franchise. Durant has spent three years with the Nets and has yet to make it out of the second round of the playoffs, and at 33 years old with an injury history, his championship window may not be open for much longer.

The Nets have agreed to honor Durant’s trade request but will only pull the trigger on a deal if they get a substantial return for their franchise star. Ben Stinar of “Sports Illustrated” suggests a trade where Durant goes to the News Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Zion Williamson, who recently signed a 5-year $193 million max rookie extension with the team.

“The Nets are in an interesting position where they are built to compete right now because Durant is 33 years old and Irving is in the prime of his career at 30 Yet, they also have 25-year-old Ben Simmons. Therefore, I think they should try to take a chance on another young star to pair with Simmons (and Irving),” Stinar writes.

“Williamson has been in the NBA for three seasons after being the first overall pick in 2019 out of Duke. In his first season, he only played in 24 games, but in his second season he made the All-Star Game and averaged 27.0 points in 61 games.”

However, it should be noted, that because Simmons and Williamson are both on rookie max extensions, they would be unable to be on the same roster.

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Pelicans Had Successful Season Without Zion

Stinar also notes that despite the Pelicans not having Williamson at all last season, they still were able to make it through the play-in tournament and gave the top-seeded Phoenix Suns all that they could manage in the first round, pushing them to a six-game battle. The addition of Durant could make them much more lethal.

“This past season, [Williamson] did not play in a single game. Yet, the Pelicans made the NBA Playoffs and gave the Phoenix Suns a good fight taking the series to six games. If the Pelicans were able to do that this season without Williamson, and they added Durant to the roster, they could be a legitimate title contender,” Stinar adds.

“With the way the contracts are, the Pelicans would have to add a lot of salary to make a deal work. However, they do have several players such as Devonte Graham, Larry Nance Jr., and Jonas Valanciunas, that make enough salary to get a deal done.

The Pelicans could form a big three of C.J. McCollum, Brandon Ingram, and Durant. They also are loaded with solid role players. Meanwhile, the Nets would get one of the most coveted prospects of all-time, who has shown that when he is on the floor, he is a superstar.”

Brandon Ingram Says He Is Better Passer Than Durant

Durant is one of the most prolific players the NBA has ever seen. So, it is hard to compare any player to him unless they are a rare talent. And that is what Pelicans star Brandon Ingram is. Ingram has received comparisons to the Nets star since he was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2016.

Ingram has a way to go before he can be in the conversation with Durant, a two-time NBA Finals MVP. But the Pelicans star believes that one aspect of his game has already surpassed the Nets stars’.

“I think anybody would like the [Kevin Durant] comparisons. A guy that can shoot the basketball from the three, midrange, and get all the way to the basket and he’s a really, really good defender,” Ingram said to Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson of Bally Sports.

“I think one thing that I got over him is passing: a little bit. But he’s really, really an efficient scorer and NOBODY in this league can stop him, so I definitely love the comparison!”

With the season drawing nearer, no Durant news is good news for Nets fans, as all signs point to the star forward reporting to training camp.

 READ NEXT: Analyst Proposes Blockbuster Trade That Sends LeBron James From Lakers to Nets

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