NBA Rumors: Kevin Durant To Raptors, Kyrie Irving To Lakers In Hypothetical Three-Team Trade Involving Nets

Kevin Durant driving into the basket
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JB Baruelo

The Brooklyn Nets face a huge dilemma regarding their two best players - Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. When they got eliminated in the 2022 NBA Playoffs, both Irving and Durant expressed their desire to return to the Nets in the 2022-23 NBA season.

However, things dramatically changed after the Nets refused to give Irving a maximum contract extension. With the team's lack of interest in keeping Irving long-term in Brooklyn, Durant has decided to request a trade from the Nets.

Potential Three-Team Deal With Raptors & Lakers

Kevin Durant going back to defense
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Among the teams that have expressed interest in engaging in a blockbuster deal with the Nets are the Toronto Raptors and the Los Angeles Lakers. After NBA executives Sean Marks, Masai Ujiri, and Rob Pelinka were seen having a conversation at the Summer League, some people started thinking that the Nets, Raptors, and the Lakers could be talking about a potential three-team trade featuring Durant and Irving. Here's what the hypothetical three-way deal could look like:

Toronto Raptors Receive: Kevin Durant and Joe Harris

Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Kyrie Irving and Seth Curry

Brooklyn Nets Receive: Russell Westbrook, Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, Gary Trent Jr., Talen Horton-Tucker, a 2023 first-round pick, a 2025 first-round pick, a 2027 first-round pick, a 2028 first-round pick, two 2023 second-round picks, and a 2025 second-round pick

Raptors Go All-In For Another Championship Run

Kevin Durant wearing Team USA jersey
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Giving up all those assets would be a tough decision for the Raptors, but it's something that they would strongly consider if they believe that Durant could help them win their second NBA championship title.

Ujiri made a similar move in the summer of 2018 when they acquired Kawhi Leonard from the San Antonio Spurs. Though he only stayed for one year, Leonard helped the Raptors bring the first-ever Larry O'Brien Trophy to Toronto in the 2018-19 NBA season.

Durant may already be 33, but when he's 100 percent healthy, he's still one of the best active players in the NBA. However, to have a realistic chance of achieving their main goal next season, the Raptors would still need to add a starting-caliber center who would complement their core of Durant, Harris, Scottie Barnes, and Fred VanVleet.

Lakers Finally Reunite Kyrie Irving With LeBron James

Kyrie Irving making plays for the Nets
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Though it would cost them Horton-Tucker and two future draft assets, the proposed blockbuster trade should be a no-brainer for the Lakers. The suggested deal would enable them to reunite LeBron James with Irving while acquiring another quality backcourt starter in Curry.

Despite his off-court issues, Irving would be a massive upgrade over Westbrook at the Lakers' starting point guard position, giving them another All-Star who can efficiently knock down shots from beyond the arc and knows how to co-exist with James on the court.

Adding Irving and Curry to the core of James, Anthony Davis, and Thomas Bryant would undoubtedly strengthen the Lakers' chances of reclaiming their throne next year.

Nets Obtain Win-Now & Rebuilding Assets

Pascal Siakam finding an open teammate
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For the Nets, the hypothetical three-team trade would enable them to remain competitive while setting themselves up for the future. Westbrook, Siakam, Trent Jr., Anunoby, and Horton-Tucker may not be able to fill the star power that the Nets would lose from trading Irving and Durant. Still, surrounding Ben Simmons with all those players could help them stay afloat in the Eastern Conference.

If Westbrook proves to be an odd fit with Simmons, the Nets could simply let him walk away next summer and use the salary cap space to chase another big name in the 2023 NBA free agency.