This NBA trade proposal is not for the faint of heart because it would involve multiple superstars and has the Los Angeles Lakers landing two new starters, including Kyrie Irving. During his conversations with league personnel, Heavy.com’s NBA insider Sean Deveney received a trade idea for a “mega-deal” from an Eastern Conference front office executive.
The proposed trade involves the Lakers, Knicks, Nets, Pacers and Jazz. The Lakers would receive Irving and Buddy Hield in exchange for Russell Westbrook, Talen Horton-Tucker, two future first-round picks (2027, 2029) and a 2023 second-round selection.
“I think we all knew, eventually, the Jazz were going to budge on Donovan Mitchell and that’s what the Nets have been waiting for,” the exec said. “They’d like to get him to Brooklyn themselves, but it could be just too hard to do unless they have a Durant deal first, one that brings in a ton of picks — and that is still a tough one. But they can move on Kyrie. I think we’ve seen these possibilities developing.
“I think — however it shakes out exactly — you are going to see a mega-deal. You know, earth-shattering. Four, maybe five teams and some big, big names. The Knicks are in a great position because they have picks coming in from Detroit and Washington — protected picks, but they’re valuable. That is most likely — we’ll have to see — but most likely where Mitchell goes.
“But you can tie that in with the Lakers getting Kyrie, and Russell Westbrook going to Indiana, with Buddy Hield and Myles Turner heading out and the Pacers getting a first-rounder. Send the Jazz back some bits from the Knicks and draft picks, plus the Lakers pick [in 2029]. You can get four picks out of that, plus Evan Fournier, plus Obi Toppin and maybe [Immanuel] Quickley. I don’t think [Jazz CEO] Danny Ainge is going to want R.J. Barrett because he is in a contract year and do you want to walk into that?”
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The Lakers Land Irving & Hield as Part of the Mega-Deal
Essentially, the Jazz would agree to trade Donovan Mitchell in exchange for a few role players and a whopping five first-round picks with some protections. The Lakers get the two players to whom they’ve been linked most (Irving and Hield) and finally move off of Westbrook’s $47 million salary.
“If the Jazz come away with the picks they want, they’re happy,” the Eastern Conference executive. “If the Knicks get Mitchell, they’re happy. The Pacers dump Buddy and Turner and get back a pick and maybe a second-rounder too — they’re happy. The Lakers would be thrilled with, say, Kyrie and Buddy. That would be fun, wouldn’t it? The Nets can take in Horton-Tucker and Myles Turner and figure out whether to flip them or be competitive if they keep Durant.”
The executive added one caveat to the already-wild blockbuster proposal: The deal could get even bigger if it were to involve Kevin Durant.
“That’s probably the kind of thing we’re going to be looking at here, and obviously it all could get bigger and more complicated with Durant if he gets involved,” the exec added.
The Proposed Trade Includes 9 Players & 8 Draft Picks
Here is a summary of how the “earth-shattering” five-team deal would play out. This mega-trade involves nine different players and eight draft selections. Here is a rundown of what each team would receive in the proposed trade.
Myles Turner, Talen Horton Tucker and a 2023 second-round pick (Bulls pick, through Lakers)
Kyrie Irving and Buddy Hield
Russell Westbrook, first-round pick (Lakers 2027) and second round pick (Detroit 2024, through Knicks)
Evan Fournier, Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin
First-round picks: Detroit, 2023 protected, through Knicks; Washington, 2023 protected through Knicks; Knicks 2023 pick; Milwaukee 2025 pick, through Knicks, Lakers 2029 pick)
From the Lakers’ perspective, they would immediately fill a void by adding more shooting with Hield, who is a career 39.8% three-point shooter. The Pacers guard averaged 18.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.8 assists and one steal while shooting 36.2% from long range during his 26 appearances last season after being traded to Indiana.
Irving is the biggest wild card of any player involved in the blockbuster proposal because he played in only 29 games last season and missing a combined 90 appearances during the previous two years. The pressure is on Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka to shake up the existing roster with LeBron James potentially becoming a free agent in 2023.