There have been many trade rumors in recent weeks that have linked the Los Angeles Lakers to Kyrie Irving. While the star guard would be a fit, a much bigger name is on the market in Brooklyn Nets teammate Kevin Durant. The Lakers haven’t been mentioned as a landing spot for the 12-time All-Star due to the fact that he likely doesn’t want to play in LeBron James‘ shadow. However, what if he didn’t have to.
LeBron is going to be 38 when the season starts and doesn’t have many years left of being an elite player. With the Eastern Conference much less treacherous than the Western Conference, a move to Brooklyn could be appealing. Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report outlined a possible Durant and LeBron swap that would make sense for all parties involved:
Set to turn 38 in December, James has to give himself a chance to win championships every single year. The current Lakers roster doesn’t give him an opportunity to do that, especially with the top of the West (Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks) looking absolutely stacked as players like Kawhi Leonard, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. return from injury.
There’s just no way the Lakers make it out of the West, something James has to accept. A trade to Brooklyn gives him a real chance at a fifth championship.
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Why Trade Makes Sense for Durant
A move to the Nets could make sense for LeBron but why would Durant want to go to Los Angeles? He’s had a hot and cold relationship with Russell Westbrook and the Lakers don’t have an easy path to the championship. That said, Durant is a huge fan of Anthony Davis. He even put the big man on his All-Time roster. The two would form one of the best duos in the NBA.
Swartz explained why the Lakers should be appealing to Durant:
Having two top-10 superstars on the roster for the next three-plus years and potential max cap space next summer would breathe fresh air into a Lakers franchise that finished 11th in the West last season.
Durant gets his wish of a trade, doesn’t have to worry about Irving’s availability any longer and can compete for championships for the remainder of his career for one of the most historic franchises in the NBA.
What a Lakers-Nets Trade Could Look Like?
Thanks to their contracts, the Lakers and Nets could swap Durant and LeBron without many other pieces. However, Brooklyn would no doubt look at Durant as the more valuable asset. He’s four years younger than LeBron and should have more years left as an elite player. If the Lakers were truly interested in this deal, they’d have to attach a first-round pick or two.
To land Durant, that would have to be worth it. The Lakers don’t even know if LeBron will be in Los Angeles after this season. Durant is under contract until 2026 so they wouldn’t have to worry about him being a flight risk. It’s hard to imagine a trade like this actually happening but it does make some sense for all parties involved.