Kevin Durant turned the NBA world on its head early Thursday afternoon when he asked for a trade from the Brooklyn Nets four hours before the start of free agency.
Nets general manager Sean Marks is now actively working with Durant’s representatives to find a suitable deal that would appease all sides.
Inevitably, when a star of Durant’s magnitude finds himself on the trade block, the Los Angeles Lakers are floated as a legitimate suitor.
History repeated itself once more.
Because the Lakers badly need to upgrade the roster, many immediately began to wonder if they could somehow put a package together that would pique Brooklyn’s interest.
Based on the fact that the Nets have made it clear that they want Devin Booker in any trade involving the Phoenix Suns, or Bam Adebayo in any swap involving the Miami Heat, it’s clear that a superstar would have to be involved.
What does that mean for the Lakers? It means that any move they make for Durant would have to include LeBron James or Anthony Davis. Because of James’ age and contract situation, Davis is actually the more appealing piece.
The best offer L.A. could put together for Durant would be as follows: Davis, Talen Horton-Tucker, an unprotected 2027 first-round pick and unprotected 2029 first-round pick along with cash in return for Durant.
Brooklyn is clearly embarking on a rebuild. Davis is only 29 years old. Horton-Tucker is just 21. With Ben Simmons, the three of them could form a fierce unit.
Plus, Davis has been the topic of a lot of trade speculation already this offseason – which he himself has sadly acknowledged. He is one more bad season with the Lakers away from getting dealt. Why not offload him for Durant if you have the opportunity?
As for the Lakers, getting Durant is a no-brainer. He is only 33 years old and on a four-year contract that will keep him in purple and gold until 2026.
Last season he averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game. He still very much has it, and would offer a huge boost to a Lakers group that struggled offensively for much of 2021-22.
— Game 7 (@game7__) June 30, 2022
L.A. has been linked to a big potential trade with the Chicago Bulls already this week, but obviously this matter takes precedent. If you can get someone of Durant’s caliber, you do everything you can to do so.
Will the Lakers be able to shock the world and nab Durant via trade?
Time will tell.
Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7’s go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.