The Brooklyn Nets have been a part of multiple trade discussions following their first round playoff elimination. They have been mentioned in trades for everyone from Rudy Gobert, D’Angelo Russell, Russell Westbrook, and more.
After it was reported that the Nets might be ‘unwilling‘ to sign Irving to a long-term extension, news quickly followed that this could cause uncertainty around Kevin Durant’s long-term status in Brooklyn as well.
LeBron to Brooklyn?
LeBron has publicly expressed a desire to team up with Kevin Durant in the past, and despite that, it was still surprising to see the two linked in a trade that would have the two teaming up with Kyrie Irving. The New York Daily News reported the possibility of the Nets landing LeBron James to team up with their star Kevin Durant.
“So what would it take for the Nets to add LeBron this offseason? Ben Simmons, who has three years worth about $114M left on his contract,” Kristian Winfield writes for the “New York Daily News”.
Winfield went on to examine what it would take for the Nets to land Durant in addition to Simmons.
Western Conference GM on LeBron James Teaming up with Kevin Durant
Heavy.com’s own NBA Insider, Sean Deveney, recently spoke to a Western Conference GM about the possibility of Durant and LeBron James teaming up.
“There is no sign that LeBron wants to leave L.A. That is just, it’s where all his business ventures are, it is where he wants to retire. It is a huge, huge longshot to think he will not be with the Lakers when his career ends. But, would he pass up a chance to go play with KD to finish his career? They are not great friends, but they have a lot of respect for each other, they like each other, I think they recognize that they both raised their levels because of the other guy. So, if Brooklyn keeps its cap space open, depending on what happens with Kyrie (Irving, who has a player option), LeBron could have that option, go to Brooklyn and play there in 2023. But they could make it happen,” said one Western Conference GM to Deveney.
While the anonymous GM acknowledged that LeBron joining the Nets is something that could happen, it may be Brooklyn especially with the deal being harder to negotiate if Durant would be dealt to Los Angeles.
“Going the other way, if Durant wants to go to the Lakers, that gets harder. He is signed through (2026), so you’ve got to make a trade and the only thing they can do would be Anthony Davis for KD. I think LeBron feels some responsibility for getting Davis to Los Angeles and he wants that to work, so there’s not much chance they would trade him. But if Davis can go play with Kyrie, who he is close with, maybe that changes the math on that. It’s an earthquake kind of trade and it’s a slim chance. But if Durant is really unhappy and they can get everyone on the same page, maybe it works for everyone. Never say never in this league,” the GM continued.
The possibility of Durant and James teaming up remains a fairy tale, but if you listen to this general manager it is something that could happen. It looks more likely in Brooklyn, but whether the new billionaire LeBron James would leave the business empire he built in LA remains to be seen.