Kevin Durant may be moving on from the Brooklyn Nets, but it does not appear that the Los Angeles Lakers are a top contender to pull off a trade for the superstar. The Athletic’s Jovan Buha and Sam Amick reported that the Lakers have their eyes on acquiring Kyrie Irving, adding that there is “zero” chance that Los Angeles will consider trading Anthony Davis for Durant.
“As for the prospect of the Lakers trying to get in on the Durant sweepstakes themselves, perhaps by making Davis available in the process, a source close to the situation put the chances at ‘zero,'” Buha and Amick detailed on June 30, 2022. “Their focus, it seems, is on Irving. And vice versa.”
This stance essentially eliminates the Lakers from contention in the Durant sweepstakes as any potential KD deal with the Lakers would likely start with Davis as the main piece the Nets would receive in a trade. Instead, the Lakers appear poised to make a strong push at landing Irving, but this also has its challenges.
The Lakers may have to wait for the Nets to find a blockbuster deal for Durant before they will consider trading Irving. Los Angeles may also need to find a third team willing to take Russell Westbrook unless Brooklyn has a change of heart.
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Would Durant Consider a Trade to the Lakers?
Durant does not have a no-trade clause but will attempt to use his power to land on a desirable team. The early favorites to acquire Durant are the Suns and Heat making it unclear if the superstar would even consider a trade to the Lakers.
For the Lakers part, the team appears unwilling to trade Davis despite the center’s inability to stay healthy playing in a combined 76 games over the last two seasons. Like LeBron James, Davis is a Klutch Sports client and the Lakers are unlikely willing to rock the boat with King James potentially entering the final year of his LA deal.
NBA GM on KD to the Lakers: ‘Never Say Never’
Prior to the recent trade request, Heavy.com’s NBA insider Sean Deveney spoke with one Western Conference general manager in early June who noted the Lakers had “slim” chances to land Durant if he grew unhappy with the Nets. The league exec explained that any deal for Durant would have to begin with Davis.
“Going the other way, if Durant wants to go to the Lakers, that gets harder,” the NBA GM said at the time. “He is signed through (2026), so you’ve got to make a trade and the only thing they can do would be Anthony Davis for KD. I think LeBron feels some responsibility for getting Davis to Los Angeles, and he wants that to work, so there’s not much chance they would trade him.
“But if Davis can go play with Kyrie, who he is close with, maybe that changes the math on that. It’s an earthquake kind of trade and it’s a slim chance. But if Durant is really unhappy and they can get everyone on the same page, maybe it works for everyone. Never say never in this league.”