The Brooklyn Nets are looking to trade both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving after Durant requested out.
His request comes on the heels of uncertainly surrounding Irving about whether he’d opt in to his contract or not. While he ultimately decided to commit to another year in Brooklyn, Durant threw a big wrench into the plans.
Durant has four years left on his contract with the Nets, so whoever is able to get him would be getting him for what’s likely the remainder of his prime. This means the Nets would be asking for a huge haul in return, and they got a good idea of what that could look like thanks to the Rudy Gobert blockbuster trade.
The Utah Jazz shipped Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for four future first-round picks, Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverly, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Balmaro, and Walker Kessler.
Gobert is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year winner, but he doesn’t impact winning in the same way Durant would. Because of that, the Nets would likely be looking for an even bigger haul, and an anonymous NBA executive speaking to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer is banking on it.
Gobert Helps the Nets
The Nets will want to get a lot back for Durant, and Irving for that matter, and now they have a measuring stick to compare to.
“Rudy Gobert getting traded for an arm, a leg and two mountains is helping their cause. There’s no way the Nets will ever trade Kevin Durant for anything less than what Rudy Gobert got Utah,” said the exec. “If nothing comes, I can see them saying [to the players], ‘We just all have to come back.’ If I’m them, I just try to string this out as long as possible.”
The Nets hold all of the cards in a potential Kevin Durant deal, so they have the incentive to sit back and wait for a team to come up with an offer that blows them away. It would be one thing if Durant was only signed for one remaining year like Irving is, but the four years make this an easier decision for the Nets.
Durant listed the Heat and Suns as his preferred destinations, but it doesn’t seem like either team has the trade package necessary for the Nets to part ways with their superstar.
What’s the Latest?
Between the two players, Irving looks like the most likely candidate to be moved at the moment because the Los Angeles Lakers have already shown an interest in acquiring, and they have the path forward to do it.
This would lead to Irving being flipped for Russell Westbrook, a move the Lakers would likely love to make but not one the Nets would enjoy. If the Nets want to get any sort of value back for Irving, this could be the best move available if it means Los Angeles sends over some young assets like Talen Horton Tucker, but that’s far from a guarantee.
The Nets will likely sit back for a bit longer to look for more trades as they have all summer ahead of them.