NBA Rumors: Latest Trade Buzz on Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and More
While NBA free agents cannot be officially signed until the moratorium period is lifted on July 6, it officially opened on Thursday and got off to a fast start.
Since then, however, much of the basketball world has been focused on the trade market and not on free agency. The Utah Jazz sent shockwaves through the league by sending Royce O'Neale to the Brooklyn Nets and trading Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Nets star Kevin Durant began another frenzy when he officially requested a trade out of Brooklyn.
Which players could be on the move next? Let's dive into some of the latest NBA trade buzz.
Nets Asking Price for Durant Revealed
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Nets general manager Sean Marks is "working" with Durant to find a trade. Presumably, there is no shortage of teams with at least some interest in acquiring the 12-time All-Star.
However, any teams believing that Brooklyn will sell Durant on the cheap are mistaken. ESPN's Marc J. Spears appeared on NBA Today and discussed what the Nets are seeking in a trade package.
"A young or future All-Star, lots of picks, the ability to swap picks, and another starter," Spears said (h/t Talkin' NBA).
Spears also noted that Durant "may not have as much control as one would think" over his next destination because of the number of interested teams. This suggests that multiple franchises have already expressed interest, and it makes Durant's future extremely unclear.
According to Wojnarowski, the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat are at the top of his wish list. If those were the only teams interested, Durant may have a chance to pick his landing spot. However, the Nets are in a position to do what's best for the Nets, and that means moving Durant for the highest return.
Until/unless information begins to leak about what teams are offering, there's no telling where Durant will play in the 2022-23 season.
Brooklyn Won't Accommodate Kyrie Irving
Durant's trade request also clouds the future of Nets point guard Kyrie Irving. The 30-year-old considered entering free agency this offseason but decided to return to Brooklyn to "fulfill his four-year commitment" to the Nets and to Durant, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.
With Durant leaving, Irving may want out too. The Los Angeles Lakers appear to want him.
Jovan Buha and Sam Amick of The Athletic wrote the following:
"A source close to the situation indicated as much in the aftermath of the Durant trade request, and it makes all sorts of sense that the Durant decision ups the Lakers’ odds here. As The Athletic reported on Monday, Irving was hyper-focused on landing with the Lakers in the days and weeks leading up to his opt-in decision."
However, the Nets aren't going to simply dump Irving either.
ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst appeared on First Take on Friday to discuss Irving's situation (beginning at the 4:30 mark).
"Nets have no interest in accommodating Kyrie Irving. They have no interest in doing it," Windhorst said.
According to Windhorst, the Nets don't view Irving as a big trade chip and may only consider moving him in a multiteam deal as "salary ballast."
In other words, Brooklyn isn't going to help Irving get to Los Angeles unless it somehow benefits the franchise.
Teams Are Preparing to Make a Run at Donovan Mitchell
The Jazz have already moved two notable pieces this offseason, and they may not be finished making deals.
According to Wojnarowski (h/t SNY's Ian Begley), Utah intends to retool the roster around star shooting guard Donovan Mitchell. However, some around the league believe that Mitchell will now want out.
"Talking to league executives who saw some of this coming, they think it would be abnormal for Donovan to not want out at this point," Windhorst said on NBA Today (h/t Talkin' NBA).
Windhorst also reported that some teams are preparing to make a run at Mitchell if he can indeed be had:
"Now, they obviously have the option to use these assets to trade something to put around Donovan, and that may be what they’re trying to sell him on. But right now, there are teams out there that are revving up the possibility of calling Utah and seeing what it's going to take to get Donovan Mitchell, because they’re not going to be done."
This meshes with a report from Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake City Tribune.
"Sense is that the Jazz are keeping their options open here: they could retool around Mitchell, or trade him for a massive haul to jumpstart a rebuild," Larsen tweeted.
Expect Utah to continue commanding attention as the offseason unfolds.