The Los Angeles Lakers have been urged to trade Anthony Davis in a blockbuster move for a $498 million superstar.
In a February 7 story called “Lakers: With Kyrie Irving Gone, LA Should Join Kevin Durant Trade Sweepstakes,” Alex Kirschenbaum of Sports Illustrated urged the Lakers to trade Davis to the Brooklyn Nets for two-time Finals MVP Kevin Durant.
“That’s right, I’m talking about shipping out Anthony Davis and his injury-prone lower body,” Kirschenbaum wrote. “It may need to happen this summer, given that the Lakers will then have at least three first-round draft picks to ship out — in addition to LA’s 2027 and 2029 firsts, the team will also be able to move the worse pick between the Lakers’ 2023 first rounder and the Pelicans’ 2023 first (New Orleans gets the better pick, as a condition of the Anthony Davis trade). Durant is a better player than Davis, yes, but he’s also five years older, and even more injury-prone. Davis when healthy is a spectacular talent, and could certainly be the centerpiece of an invested franchise. A Durant-James pairing, for however long that dynamic duo could hold up, would be pretty darn fascinating to watch. Like Davis, Durant is a terrific and versatile defender, and could help clean up a lot of LBJ’s lapses on that end of the floor.”
Under CBA rules, the Lakers can trade Davis, Lonnie Walker IV and multiple draft picks to the Nets for Durant, who is making $42.9 million this season and will have earned more than $498 million in NBA money when his current contract expires after the 2025-26 campaign. The future Hall of Famer has always been linked to the Lakers due to his close relationship with LeBron James.
Davis, meanwhile, signed a five-year, $190 million contract with Los Angeles in December 2020. The deal includes an early termination option in 2024 and will be fully up in 2025. AD has the same agent (Rich Paul of Klutch Sports Group) as James.
The Nets Are Receiving Trade Calls About Kevin Durant
The Nets are receiving trade calls from multiple teams about Durant, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. KD was reportedly upset when he learned about Kyrie Irving’s trade request from Brooklyn. Uncle Drew was traded to the Dallas Mavericks.
“I’ve been told that Kevin was upset when Kyrie asked for a trade,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on February 6. “But the question I don’t have the answer to, and I’m not going to try to get in Kevin’s head, was he upset at the Nets or was he upset at Kyrie?”
Durant requested a trade from the Nets last summer. If he wants out again, Brooklyn could be interested in acquiring Davis and multiple future draft picks. Durant, 34, is averaging 29.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists this season. He’s currently out with a knee injury.
“What would it take to pry Durant loose?” Kirschenbaum wrote. “Surely the Nets couldn’t turn down the present promise of Davis, especially when combined with three unprotected or lightly protected future first-round draft picks? On the Lakers side of the question, Los Angeles would immediately vault into the West’s elite again, especially since the club would also be able to sign complimentary talent (three-point shooters and perimeter defenders, ideally) in free agency this summer, once the expiring contracts of Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley come off its books.”
Kevin Durant, Nets Talking About Franchise’s Direction
According to Wojnarowski, Durant and the Nets are talking about the franchise’s direction after the Irving trade. So far, Brooklyn has no plans to trade the All-Star forward.
“In the aftermath of the Kyrie Irving trade, Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant has been engaged in conversations with owner Joe Tsai and general manager Sean Marks on the direction of the franchise and its ability to be a championship contender, sources told ESPN on Tuesday,” Wojnarowski wrote. “So far, the Nets have insisted to Durant and inquiring teams that the organization has no intention of moving him prior to Thursday afternoon’s trade deadline, sources said.”
Durant has three years and $153 million left on his contract after this season.