Lakers Predicted to Try to Trade for 12-Time All-Star & Former MVP

Lakers GM Rob Pelinka (left) and head coach Darvin Ham

Getty Lakers GM Rob Pelinka (left) and head coach Darvin Ham

In a November 9 column called “Guessing the Mystery NBA Star the Lakers Are Trying to Trade For,” Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale listed Brooklyn Nets superstar small forward Kevin Durant as one of the players the Los Angeles Lakers may try to acquire.

Favale’s guess comes in the wake of Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated reporting that Los Angeles is waiting for a “specific player” to trade for.

“Based on the Brooklyn Nets’ reported asking price for Kevin Durant over the summer, targeting him would be a truly pie-in-the-sky move for the Lakers,” Favale wrote. “Then again, maybe not. Durant already requested a trade once. He could feasibly do so again. That invariably torpedoes some of the Nets’ leverage.”

Durant signed a four-year, $194 million extension with Brooklyn in August 2021. The 12-time All-Star and one-time MVP requested a trade this past offseason before the Nets announced in August they would “move forward with our partnership.” Durant could always renew his trade request if Brooklyn (5-7) continues to struggle, especially since his pal Kyrie Irving has been suspended for tweeting a link to an antisemitic video.

Proposed Trade Lands Lakers Durant for Anthony Davis

The easiest way for the Lakers to acquire Durant is to trade eight-time All-Star Anthony Davis. Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report wrote on November 8 that Los Angeles should consider trading Davis and an unprotected first-round pick in 2029 to Brooklyn for Durant.

“From the Lakers’ side, this isn’t complicated. Durant just won Eastern Conference Player of the Week, his fourth such honor since the last time AD won his most recent one…on Dec. 9, 2019. Yes, Durant is four-and-a-half years Davis’ senior. And sure, KD has an injury history with a torn Achilles on it,” Hughes wrote. “But there’s really no debating that right now and for the last several seasons, Durant is and has been the better player. Davis has made four All-NBA teams; Durant has made 10, with his last one coming more recently (2021-22) than Davis’ (2019-20).”

Favale thinks Durant, who is averaging 30.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.3 assists this season, has the “clout” to end up on the Lakers if that’s where he wants to be. KD is arguably the second-biggest star in the NBA behind LeBron James.

“Regardless, if he wants to end up in L.A., he has the clout to make it happen,” Favale wrote. “And the Lakers wouldn’t need to think twice if the Nets have already agreed to send him where he wants to go.”

Do Durant & the Nets Have an Agreement in Place?

An NBA executive told Sam Amick of The Athletic on November 7 that he believes Durant and the Nets have an agreement in place where the franchise will trade the future Hall of Famer if the team continues to lose games.

“I’m assuming there’s some sort of agreement with Kevin,” the NBA executive said. “Like, ‘Look, if you want to move, we’ll move you. And we’re not going to move you to New Orleans and we’re not going to move you to Sacramento and we’re not going to move you to Indiana.’ So if the best Brooklyn can do is the Lakers, then if I was the Lakers, that’s what I’d be waiting on.”

For what it’s worth, the Lakers — who are 2-9 on the season — are allowed to trade Davis and draft picks to the Nets for Durant under CBA rules.

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