There are few sporting seasons as wild as NBA offseasons. Between the draft, trades and free agency, fans everywhere have plenty to keep them entertained even after the playoffs have ended. Although you think you might have an idea about what might happen with certain players and teams, you can never really know for sure, and there's always some big surprises.
A year and a half ago, nobody would've thought the Brooklyn Nets would be on the verge of falling apart at the seams after assembling a star-studded trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden ... but here we are.
Brooklyn hasn't been able to come to a contract extension agreement with Irving, who has become one of the most polarizing players in the league over the last few years. Many believe that means his time with the Nets is coming to a close, as he just opted into the final year of his contract.
As a result, Kevin Durant, who will turn 34 years old before the start of next season, could also be out the door if Irving leaves. Durant is under contract through the 2025-26 season, but he could still demand a trade and likely get his way if it comes to that.
According to a report from Shams Charania, it appears that the Nets' breakdown is a matter of 'when' and not 'if.'
Kevin Durant has requested a trade out of Brooklyn, sources tell The Athletic, Stadium.
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Why Mavs Should Roll Dice on Kyrie Irving Trade with Nets
A Kyrie Irving trade could be the most realistic shot the Dallas Mavericks have to pair a star-level player with Luka Doncic.
There have already been rumors connecting the Dallas Mavericks to Irving, as Dallas is reportedly on Irving's short list of teams he'd like to play for. Although there should be some interest in Irving now that Jalen Brunson has gone to the New York Knicks, the Mavs should be far more interested in the Durant sweepstakes, and there's a way they could get their foot in the door.
With Durant still having four years remaining on his current contract, any trade package going to the Nets would have to be a huge one littered with draft capital. Right now, the Mavs don't really have that capability given that the Knicks have their 2023 first-round pick (protected) from the Kristaps Porzingis trade in 2019. However, if Dallas could lift the protections off that pick for New York, it would open the door for making a competitive trade offer to Brooklyn.
Mavs receive: Kevin Durant
Nets receive: Dorian Finney-Smith, Tim Hardaway Jr., Davis Bertans, Josh Green, 2025, 2027 and 2029 first-round picks, and pick swaps in 2024 and 2026
As much as the Mavs would love to have Finney-Smith back on the roster for next season, if you have an opportunity to trade for one of the greatest players of all-time who still averages 30 points, seven rebounds and six assists per game on near 50/40/90 shooting efficiency, you pounce on that opportunity 10 times out of 10.
Per usual, ideas like this always fall into the "pipe dream" category, but the unpredictability of the NBA is what makes piecing these scenarios together worth it. Unlike in past years, the Mavs are actually a prime destination for other superstars who are ready to win big now. If Doncic gets a co-star of Durant's caliber, the Mavs could be title favorites heading into next season.