Proposed 4-Star Trade Has Nets Land $120 Million Legend & Ex-No. 1 Pick

Nets Rumors

Getty Kyrie Irving has once again requested to be traded by the Brooklyn Nets.

The Phoenix Suns have emerged as a possible landing spot for Kyrie Irving, and the Western Conference franchise may have the best trade assets to offer the Brooklyn Nets in a blockbuster deal. Two of the most appealing trade targets for the Nets could be former No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton and 12-time All-Star Chris Paul. The Nets have until the NBA trade deadline on February 9 to decide if the front office will accommodate Irving’s trade request.

“Phoenix is viewed as one of the few teams capable of facilitating a deal with Brooklyn that could keep both teams in championship pursuit,” Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes tweeted on February 3, 2023.

During a February 3 episode of “Don’t Aggregate This,” Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer noted that the Suns appear to be the “most likely landing spot” for Irving given their loaded roster. The Athletic’s Mo Dakhil threw out a wild trade proposal that has the Nets landing Paul and Ayton in exchange for Irving along with Ben Simmons.

“Yeah, I think [the Suns are] probably the best deal for the Nets to possibly make that would kind of keep them in a [competing] position,” Dakhil explained. “I’ve seen stuff like C.P. and Ayton for Simmons and Kyrie and things like that. I’m seeing wild stuff in that range.

“I think C.P. would be a great fit for Brooklyn. I think it would be a smart move for them. It would be short-term [move] just because we know C.P. is beginning to slow down. We’re watching it in real time, but I think it would help them a ton for everything that they would be looking for.”

Do the Suns Have an Interest in Trading for Kyrie Irving & Ben Simmons?

The four-star deal works under the salary cap, but Ayton would need to approve the move given his no-trade clause. Another variation that works within the cap constraints would be the Nets swapping out Simmons for sharpshooter Joe Harris. The Lakers are sure to dominate the trade rumors for Irving, but the Suns can offer a much more appealing win-now package. It remains to be seen just how much Phoenix is willing to trade for Irving, and if they would have an interest in taking back Simmons as well.

Paul’s numbers are down in nearly every major statistical category this season, but the 11-time All-NBA player would still be an asset for Brooklyn. The point guard is averaging 14.1 points, 8.5 assists, 4.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals per game while shooting 40.4% from long range during his first 32 starts this season.

Chris Paul’s $120 Million Contract Runs Through the 2024-25 Season

Paul has three seasons remaining on his $120 million contract, but his salary for 2024-25 is non-guaranteed, per Spotrac. Ayton just signed a four-year, $132 million deal last offseason that runs through the 2025-26 season. Not everyone believes Ayton would be a good fit for Brooklyn alongside Nic Claxton.

“Don’t think Ayton is a fit next to Claxton,” The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor tweeted on February 3 when asked about Ayton’s fit with the Nets. “Would have to be a 3 way.”

Simmons still has two seasons after 2022-23 remaining on his five-year, $177 million contract. The Nets star has a $35.4 million salary which would be a lot for the Suns to commit to given his production combined with injury history.