Perhaps the hottest rumor making the rounds across the NBA right now is that Kyrie Irving may want to leave the Brooklyn Nets, and that he may be traded, perhaps to the New York Knicks or one of the Los Angeles teams.
If Irving does leave Brooklyn, it seems unlikely the trade would acquire another star guard to replace him, simply because an equal star-for-star trade in the NBA is exceedingly rare.
If Irving will no longer be a Net, the team should hit the reset button, as Kevin Durant is 33 years of age and doesn’t have enough time to sit through a retooling process.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 22, 2022
There are three teams that should make the Nets an offer for the two-time NBA Finals MVP in order to put themselves over the top.
3. New York Knicks
If the Knicks strike out on Irving (and face it, they strike out on stars way too often), perhaps they should try to bring Durant across the East River.
There may be some questions about how he would fit with Julius Randle, but his ability to play well on and off the ball would make such a pairing doable.
The Knicks haven’t had a big-time superstar since Patrick Ewing left the team about 20 years ago, with the possible exception of Carmelo Anthony, if he could’ve been considered a true superstar several years ago.
New York City is the home of Broadway, and many NBA players look forward to playing at Madison Square Garden because, like its West Coast equivalent, Crypto.com Arena, it is a big stage with celebrities and high rollers sitting in the front rows.
.@Kendrickperkins thinks KD should ask the Nets for a trade 👀
“If I’m Kevin Durant, I’m getting the hell out. Kevin Durant deserves better.” pic.twitter.com/czYXeKi8H9
— First Take (@FirstTake) April 26, 2022
Like L.A., New York is a market that needs box office stars, and Durant would be the biggest one the Knicks would have any chance of getting any time soon.
2. Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies have a young and dangerous team led by Ja Morant, but there is no reason they should simply stand pat and wait for the rest of their young players to develop.
A Memphis trade for Durant would shake up the Western Conference and give the world champion Golden State Warriors a run for their money before they can even return to the NBA Finals.
Perhaps parting with a couple of them would be worth it in order to get Durant and shorten their journey to true title contention.
1. Phoenix Suns
The Suns seem to be at an impasse regarding Deandre Ayton, their talented center, and it appears they’re about to lose him.
However, if they can arrange a sign-and-trade with him, they could at least bring back some type of viable talent.
It seems very far-fetched, but how about one involving Durant?
The Suns would have to include more than just Ayton, as Durant will make over $44 million next season, but it would prevent them from becoming merely another good team.
Such a trade would allow Durant to compete for his third championship, while also making life easier on an aging Chris Paul.
Plus, with Durant’s experience winning back-to-back rings on the Golden State Warriors, perhaps he would prevent a collapse like the one Phoenix had versus the Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the playoffs.