Blockbuster NBA Trades that Can Still Happen This Offseason
The NBA offseason still feels very much unsettled, with Kevin Durant's trade request remaining unfulfilled and the Utah Jazz still on the brink of a total tear down.
However, if you're looking for any blockbuster trades to go down this summer, look no further than Brooklyn and Utah.
Players like Durant, Donovan Mitchell and Kyrie Irving could still be on the move, and the Los Angeles Lakers should be looking to see what they can get for Russell Westbrook's expiring contract and their future first-round picks.
While most rosters are pretty much locked in and ready for the start of the 2022-23 season, there's still plenty of big-trade potential.
Mavericks Get Mike Conley
Dallas Mavericks Receive: PG Mike Conley
Utah Jazz Receive: 2025 first-round pick (lottery-protected), SG Josh Green, PF Davis Bertans
Why the Mavs Say Yes
No offense to Frank Ntilikina, but with Luka Doncic and Spencer Dinwiddie, the Mavs have exactly two reliable ball-handlers on the roster.
This simply isn't enough for any team, especially one with hopes of going on another lengthy playoff run.
Conley would be the perfect stabilizing force as a 15-year veteran who's started 73 playoff games and is equally good playing on or off the ball. The 34-year-old averaged 13.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.3 steals and hit 40.8 percent of his three-pointers last season.
Adding Conley to the starting lineup makes Dinwiddie one of the best sixth men in all of basketball as well.
Why the Jazz Say Yes
Utah is in draft pick acquisition mode following the Rudy Gobert trade and picks up yet another future first-round selection here.
Green is a 21-year-old shooting guard who still has two years remaining on his rookie deal and could see plenty of court time if the Jazz end up trading Donovan Mitchell.
Taking back Bertans' three-year, $49 million contract isn't ideal for Utah, but the third season has an early termination option that could get the deal down to two years and $38 million instead.
Swapping out Conley also removes the $24.4 million he's owed in 2023-24, ultimately saving the Jazz money overall.
Raptors Win Donovan Mitchell Sweepstakes
Toronto Raptors Receive: SG Donovan Mitchell
Utah Jazz Receive: SG Gary Trent Jr., F/C Precious Achiuwa, C Khem Birch, 2023, 2025 and 2027 unprotected first-round picks
Why the Raptors Say Yes
Toronto is a good team in the East but not on the level of franchises like the Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers or Miami Heat. It finished fifth in the East last year and will likely end up in the same range again this year after a mostly quiet offseason.
While some of the core is still young, players like Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam will both turn 29 during the regular season and are ready to chase more titles now.
Mitchell makes this team a true championship contender with his elite scoring and playmaking ability, which are necessary ingredients for a Raptors squad that finished just 15th in total offense last season (112.1 rating).
Things worked out pretty well the last time Toronto traded for a star, and a starting five of VanVleet, Mitchell, OG Anunoby, Scottie Barnes and Siakam may be the best in the NBA.
Why the Jazz Say Yes
If the Jazz don't like the offers they're receiving from the New York Knicks for Mitchell, the Raptors could offer the most intriguing package of picks and young players.
Utah seems to prefer draft capital in any deal based on the return for Rudy Gobert, so landing three completely unprotected first-round picks beginning next summer from the Raptors would be the starting point here. The Jazz could ask for a protected first-rounder in 2029 like they received from the Minnesota Timberwolves for Gobert as well.
Trent, 23, fits a rebuild in Utah and would immediately become the starting shooting guard with Mitchell gone. He averaged 18.3 points on 38.3 percent shooting from three last season in Toronto and played the best defense of his career, racking up 1.7 steals (tied for third-highest in the NBA) while leading the league with the lowest turnover percentage (4.9 percent).
Achiuwa, 22, is an athletic young big man who can dribble-drive past opponents or spot up from three and can also become a core piece moving forward in Utah.
Kyrie Irving Lands with Lakers in 3-Team Deal
Los Angeles Lakers Receive: PG Kyrie Irving, G Patrick Beverley, F Rudy Gay
Brooklyn Nets Receive: F Bojan Bogdanovic, SG Malik Beasley, 2023 second-round pick (via Los Angeles Lakers)
Utah Jazz Receive: 2027 and 2029 first-round picks (unprotected via Los Angeles Lakers), SG Max Christie, G/F Talen Horton-Tucker, PG Russell Westbrook (to be bought out)
Why the Lakers Say Yes
Los Angeles is punting on the final year of LeBron James' contract if they decide to keep Russell Westbrook and refuse to trade future first-round picks. The Lakers need more help, especially pieces that fit better alongside James and Anthony Davis.
There could be no perfect third star than Irving, who averaged 27.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.4 steals and shot 41.8 percent from three last season while only turning the ball over 2.5 times a game.
Irving at least gives the Lakers a chance to compete for a title with James and Davis and could help convince the four-time MVP to agree to extend his contract in L.A. as well.
Beverley averaged a career-high 4.6 assists per game last season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, giving this rotation another ball handler, defender and outside shooter, while Gay would be a veteran forward off the bench.
Why the Nets Say Yes
Brooklyn should be eager to end the Kyrie Irving era, especially if it makes Kevin Durant think twice about requesting a trade. While they should have no interest in taking back Russell Westbrook and draft picks, being able to acquire two potential starters and big-time offensive threats from the Jazz is a nice return.
Bogdanovic (18.1 points on 38.7 percent from three) would be a perfect floor-spacer alongside Durant and Ben Simmons, and Beasley is still just 25 and averaged 15.1 points on 38.9 percent shooting from deep in 130 games with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Nets also get the Lakers' second-rounder in the upcoming draft.
Why the Jazz Say Yes
Landing the Lakers' unprotected first-round picks is the ultimate prize here, as Utah continues to build an impressive collection of draft capital.
The Jazz also get some young talent to play around with, as Horton-Tucker is still just 21 heading into his fourth season, and Christie, 19, was the 35th overall pick in the 2022 draft out of Michigan State.
Westbrook's $47.1 million expiring deal would undoubtedly get bought out, and moving all these salaries around helps Utah get off of Gay's $6.5 million player option for the 2023-24 season as well.
Kevin Durant Completes Hawks Big 3....
Atlanta Hawks Receive: F Kevin Durant
Brooklyn Nets Receive: F/C John Collins, F De'Andre Hunter, C Onyeka Okongwu, F AJ Griffin, 2023, 2024 (via Sacramento Kings) and 2029 first-round picks
Why the Hawks Say Yes
Because this is Kevin freaking Durant.
Look, getting Dejounte Murray from the San Antonio Spurs via trade was a good start, but this is still a lower-level playoff seed in the East that needs another star. With a core of Durant, Trae Young and Murray, the Hawks become a true title contender.
Defenses can't double-team Young anymore when one of the greatest scorers in NBA history is on the court with him. While Durant will do his share of the ball-handling, he's lethal as a spot-up shooter playing off of Young and Murray as well.
A starting lineup of Young, Murray, Justin Holiday, Durant and Clint Capela is among the NBA's best, especially with Bogdan Bogdanovic as a sixth man.
The Hawks go from an improved team with Murray to a potential championship favorite with Durant.
Why the Nets Say Yes
While Atlanta had to give up three-first-round picks to get Murray, they had two in 2023 to begin with and recently acquired a 2024 first from the Sacramento Kings in the Kevin Huerter trade. This gives the Hawks three tradeable first-rounders along with a roster full of talented young players to offer the Nets.
Players like Collins (16.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 52.6 percent shooting) and Hunter (13.4 points, 37.9 percent from thee) help Brooklyn stay competitive now and are only getting better at age 24.
Okongwu, the No. 6 overall pick in 2020, has elite defensive potential, and Griffin could end up being the best three-point shooter in the 2022 draft class.
Getting three first-rounders gives Brooklyn tons of flexibility moving forward, while the incoming talent prevents this team from entering a rebuild.
....or Durant and Myles Turner Head to South Beach
Miami Heat Receive: F Kevin Durant, C Myles Turner
Indiana Pacers Receive: G/F Ben Simmons
Brooklyn Nets Receive: C Bam Adebayo, SG Tyler Herro, G/F Duncan Robinson, G/F Nikola Jovic, 2023, 2027 and 2029 unprotected first round picks (via Miami Heat)
Why the Heat Say Yes
The only way Miami gets Kevin Durant is if Bam Adebayo is part of the deal. The only way the Heat should agree to part with Adebayo is if another elite defensive center can be brought in to take his place.
Adding Durant and Myles Turner to a core of Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, Victor Oladipo, Max Strus, Caleb Martin and Gabe Vincent should make Miami the favorites in the East and essentially kill off the Nets as competition for a few years.
Losing Adebayo certainly stings, but Turner is the better rim protector and three-point shooter who can still hold this defense together.
Why the Pacers Say Yes
The Pacers were one of the teams interested in Simmons last year, and the price may never be lower than it is now to try to obtain the all-world defender.
Indiana would only need to part with Turner, who's on an expiring contract and doesn't seem like he's part of the Pacers' future.
While Simmons makes a fair amount of money ($113.7 million over the next three years), the Pacers are in terrific financial shape and will still have Bennedict Mathurin, Chris Duarte and Isaiah Jackson on rookie contracts by the time Simmons' deal runs out.
Plugging Simmons into a Draymond Green-like role alongside a backcourt of Tyrese Haliburton and Mathurin could have a lot of upside, especially if it only costs Turner in return.
Why the Nets Say Yes
Adebayo may be the best player Brooklyn can get in return for Durant, as the 25-year-old is already an All-Star center, Defensive Player of the Year candidate and gifted passer. To acquire Adebayo, however, Simmons must be moved as well since both are on designated rookie extensions.
While Adebayo is the centerpiece of the trade, Herro, 22, is the reigning Sixth Man of the Year who averaged 20.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists and could thrive even more as a starter.
Robinson can be one of the NBA's best outside shooters, Jovic was a 2022 first-round selection and the Nets collect three unprotected first round picks from Miami (as long as the Heat remove protections from their 2025 pick owed to the Oklahoma City Thunder).
The Nets are no longer title contenders in 2023 but suddenly have a ton of talent up and down the roster, a centerpiece in Adebayo and lots of future draft picks to build off of.