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NBA trade machine: Deals for Kevin Durant involving Suns, Pelicans, Raptors

Could the Nets make Durant available after trading Kyrie Irving?

New York Knicks v Brooklyn Nets
Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets looks on during a timeout during the second quarter of the game against the New York Knicks at Barclays Center on January 28, 2023 in New York City.
Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets already shipped off one of their stars when they sent Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks, but it doesn’t seem like they have any intent of blowing things up completely. Brooklyn is still in the thick of the East playoff picture and should be getting Kevin Durant back in the coming weeks. Durant had previously requested a trade in the offseason before ultimately coming back to the Nets. However, his best friend is now gone and there’s a possibility he also wants out.

Here’s a few deals for Durant involving the Phoenix Suns, New Orleans Pelicans and Toronto Raptors via the ESPN Trade Machine.

Trade 1

Suns get: Kevin Durant
Nets get: Mikal Bridges, Deandre Ayton, 2023 first-round pick, 2024 first-round swap, 2025 first-round pick, 2026 first-round swap, 2027 first-round pick

The Nets would likely still be playoff contenders if they did this deal, while the Suns would potentially vault into championship contention. The draft compensation might be too much, but the idea of pairing Durant and Devin Booker is tempting. Phoenix would likely still have enough juice to make a deal involving Chris Paul for a younger point guard, but the Nets aren’t just going to give up Durant when he’s on a long-term contract.

Trade 2

Pelicans get: Kevin Durant
Nets get: Brandon Ingram, Jonas Valanciunas, 2023 first-round pick, 2027 first-round pick, 2028 first-round pick, 2029 first-round swap, 2030 first-round pick

Ingram would essentially be the player the Nets hope develops into the next Durant, while Valanciunas provides some stability in the interior. The draft compensation is fair and could actually get better if New Orleans decides to throw some Lakers picks into the fray. The Nets could likely still make the playoffs, although they’d be significantly less dangerous. The Pelicans, on the other hand, would have a core of Durant, CJ McCollum and Zion Williamson surrounded by feisty role players. That is an intriguing possibility for the Pelicans, who were off to a hot start before Williamson’s injury and now find themselves in the middle of the West playoff picture.

Trade 3

Raptors get: Kevin Durant
Nets get: OG Anunoby, Gary Trent Jr., Scottie Barnes, 2023 first-round swap, 2024 first-round pick, 2025 first-round swap, 2026 first-round pick

The Raptors are supposedly trying to sell and they were a team mentioned in the Durant talks last summer, but the sticking point was Barnes. He’s regressed a bit this season, while Trent Jr. is essentially an expiring contract and Anunoby has soured on his role in Toronto. Durant, Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet might not be enough to win a title this year, but the Raptors can work with that going forward. The Nets get some additional depth and have a future foundational player in Barnes, along with great draft compensation.