For weeks, it’s been rumored that the Brooklyn Nets’ superstar trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons could see a shakeup before the 2022-2023 season begins.
Just last season, the Nets were working with Durant, Irving, and James Harden. When Harden grew disgruntled, he was eventually moved to the Philadelphia 76ers and swapped with Simmons.
Now, two more dominoes could fall soon. As Kyrie Irving’s decision to pick up his player option for next season or not loomed, the star guard was rumored to be searching for a possible sign-and-trade scenario that would land him somewhere else.
After it became clear the market for Irving was dry, the veteran All-Star made it known he would accept the option. A couple of days after Irving made his decision, Kevin Durant reportedly requested a trade from the Nets. Now, he’s the most prominent trade chip on the market.
As expected, the Nets are rumored to be searching for a historical return in a trade for Durant. What exactly is Brooklyn looking for in a deal involving Durant? On Tuesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that inquiring teams would need to include an All-Star along with several first-round picks to land Durant.
Could the Sixers Afford Durant?
Right now, the Sixers are expected to employ two All-Stars next year in Joel Embiid and Harden. It’s pretty clear that both guys are untouchable in trade talks — and any move the Sixers make would have to be a trade to complement Harden and Embiid — not get rid of them.
Outside of the untouchables, the Sixers’ two biggest trade chips are Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey, both of which do not have an All-Star accolade under their belt.
Even if the Nets are interested in Harris or Maxey, the Sixers’ lack of draft assets likely wouldn’t be enough to strike a deal with Brooklyn. With the Nets deferring Philly’s 2022 first-rounder, they already own the Sixers’ first-round pick for next year. The next time Philly will pick in the first round will be in 2024. After that, they won’t pick in the first round with their own selection again until 2026.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for All76ers, a Sports Illustrated channel. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.
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