When they got eliminated in the 2022 NBA Playoffs, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving expressed their commitment to return to the Brooklyn Nets in the 2022-23 NBA season. Unfortunately, things began to dramatically change when the 2022 NBA offseason started. After spending three disappointing years in Brooklyn, rumors are now circulating that Durant and Irving want out of the Nets. As of now, both superstars continue to be linked to teams that could potentially acquire them from the Nets this summer.
NBA Rumors: Proposed Four-Team Blockbuster Sends Kyrie Irving To Lakers & Kevin Durant To Suns
Proposed Four-Team Trade
On Instagram, ESPN created a list of potential blockbuster trades involving Irving and Durant. These include a hypothetical four-team deal that would send Irving and Durant to their preferred landing spots. In the proposed trade scenario, the Los Angeles Lakers would get Irving, the Phoenix Suns would receive Durant, the Nets would obtain Deandre Ayton (via sign-and-trade), Mikal Bridges, Josh Richardson, a 2023 first-round pick, a top-4 protected 2025 first-round pick, and a top-14 protected 2027 first-round pick, and the San Antonio Spurs would acquire Russell Westbrook, a 2027 first-round pick, and a 2029 first-round pick.
Kyrie Irving Finally Reunites With LeBron James
The Lakers shouldn't mind giving up two future first-rounders in the proposed trade. Aside from successfully getting rid of Westbrook and his massive salary, the suggested deal would enable them to reunite LeBron James with Irving. Irving would be a massive upgrade over Westbrook at the Lakers' starting point guard position, giving them a playmaker who can efficiently co-exist with James on the court.
If the "Big Three" of Irving, James, and Davis can remain healthy throughout the season, the Lakers would undeniably have a better chance of reaching the NBA Finals and winning the 2023 NBA championship title.
Kevin Durant Teams Up With Devin Booker In Phoenix
The hypothetical four-team deal would fulfill Durant's wish to join forces with Devin Booker in Phoenix. When he requested a trade from the Nets, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports revealed on Twitter that the Suns are one of KD's preferred trade destinations. Giving up Ayton, Bridges, and future draft assets would be a tough decision for the Suns, but it would be worth it if it means acquiring a player of Durant's caliber.
Durant would give the Suns another prolific scorer alongside Booker, as well as a great rebounder, on-court facilitator, defender, and floor spacer. Last season, he averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.4 assists while shooting 51.8 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from beyond the arc.
Why Nets & Spurs Would Make The Trade
The proposed blockbuster trade would be worth exploring for the Nets, especially if they decide to undergo a rebuilding process. By trading Durant and Irving, the Nets would be acquiring two young franchise cornerstones in Ayton and Bridges and future draft picks that they could use to add talented prospects to their roster. Ayton and Bridges could join forces with Ben Simmons and form the core of the next title-contending team that the Nets will try to build in Brooklyn.
Meanwhile, as compensation for helping the Nets, Lakers, and Suns facilitate the trade, the Spurs would be receiving two future draft picks that could help them speed up their rebuilding plans. The Spurs shouldn't mind absorbing Westbrook's expiring contract since they are expected to focus on the development of their young players next season.