Trade rumor rankings: Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and more

·15 min read

With the NBA schedule firmly in offseason mode, trade rumors are running hot and rampant to the point that we expanded this week’s trade rumor rankings into a 10-player list as opposed to our usual five-man ranking.

For those unaware, our trade rumor rankings series ranks the players who have appeared most often in trade rumors over the previous week.

With so much to discuss, let’s jump right into the action.

Alec Burks (New York)

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The New York Knicks aren’t exactly keeping it a secret that they’d like to move Alec Burks this offseason, as we had reports from three different sources come out this week indicating just that.

First, veteran NBA scribe Marc Stein mentioned Burks as one of the names the Knicks are trying to move:

The Knicks are widely regarded as a team looking to shed a number of contracts (such as those possessed by Alec Burks, Kemba Walker and Nerlens Noel) to create salary-cap space for the potential free-agent pursuits of Dallas’ Jalen Brunson and perhaps even (gasp) Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving.

That was followed up by The Athletic’s Fred Katz reporting that the Knicks are looking to trade Burks and take little-to-no salary back in a deal:

Finally, our very own Michael Scotto went so far as to mention two teams that the Knicks dangled Burks to, the Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers:

The Knicks also dangled Alec Burks on the trade market to several teams, including the Pacers and Cavaliers, before it was reported Burks underwent foot surgery and is expected to return for the start of training camp, league sources told HoopsHype.

The injury may be somewhat concerning, but Burks can be a solid bench scorer on a contending team, having averaged 12.1 points and 4.8 rebounds on 40.3 percent shooting over the past two seasons for New York.

Burks’ salary isn’t too ugly either, with the Colorado product being owed $10.0 million next season and $10.5 million the year after, though with the latter campaign possessing a team option on it.

New York shouldn’t have a hard time moving Burks if it is truly motivated to do so.

For the latest Alec Burks rumors, click here.

Luke Kennard (LA Clippers)

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There was a bit of a back and forth between a reporter and the Los Angeles Clippers front office this week with regards to Luke Kennard’s availability on the trade market.

First, Heavy’s Sean Deveney reported that L.A. is shopping the sharpshooter out of Duke:

But when it comes to pure shooters on the market, the one who may be the most attractive is the guy who led the league in 3-point shooting last year, making 44.9% from the arc, Clippers guard Luke Kennard. According to sources around the league, L.A. is shopping Kennard ahead of Thursday’s NBA draft, and will look to move him next month if no deal can be reached.

Well, that was shot down not just by another media member, The Athletic’s Andrew Grief

…but also by Lawrence Frank, the Clippers’ president of basketball operations himself, in no uncertain terms:

We shall see what the future holds with Kennard, but for now, it appears he is safe in Los Angeles on a team that will have mighty high expectations in 2022-23.

For the latest Luke Kennard rumors, click here.

Matisse Thybulle (Philadelphia)

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After a whole lot of scuttle indicating that the Philadelphia 76ers are desperately trying to trade Matisse Thybulle in order to open cap space for PJ Tucker, we found out this week that that might not be the case after all.

Prior to the draft, Keith Pompey reported that the Sixers were trying to move Thybulle and the No. 23 pick to create cap space:

Sources have also said the Sixers are looking to make a three-team trade that could involve Matisse Thybulle and the No. 23 pick to create space. Sources have said the Sixers are attempting to trade Tobias Harris, but they are having a tough time getting teams to take on his lucrative contract.

However, Paul Hudrick of Liberty Ballers reported that he has heard differently:

The team’s interest in Tucker appears to be real. The financials do get a bit complicated when you consider the Sixers’ cap situation and the fact that Tucker is reportedly opting out of his $7.35 million player option with the Heat for the 2022-23 season. The notion that the Sixers could move Thybulle and/or Green just to create space to sign Tucker is not the case, per a source.

Regardless, Pompey reported later in the week that the Sixers have an interest in landing veteran shooter Eric Gordon and are dangling Thybulle, either to the Houston Rockets or a third party, to make it happen. In that same report, Pompey wrote that the Portland Trail Blazers are interested in the Australian defensive dynamo.

What the future holds for Thybulle no one knows, but his stay in Philadelphia could be nearly over based on the latest reporting.

For the latest Matisse Thybulle rumors, click here.

Malcolm Brogdon (Indiana)

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Malcolm Brogdon’s name has been all over the news lately, with reports stating that the Indiana Pacers have been shopping the former Virginia standout pretty heavily as we enter the thick of the offseason.

First, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the Washington Wizards and New York Knicks are interested in Brogdon, a 37.6 percent three-point shooter for his career.

The big bomb of the week regarding Brogdon, however, came afterward, when it was reported by ESPN that the Los Angeles Lakers offered Indiana Russell WestbrookTalen Horton-Tucker and a 2026 first-round pick in exchange for Brogdon.

It is unclear at this time whether or not the Pacers have finished laughing at that offer yet.

Finally, Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski both reported that the Knicks could pivot to a Brogdon pursuit if their well-documented chase of Jalen Brunson this offseason falls through.

With the Pacers in the midst of a rebuild and Brogdon nowhere near that timeline at this stage in his career, look for this marriage to end this offseason after three solid seasons together.

For the latest Malcolm Brogdon rumors, click here.

Clint Capela (Atlanta)

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This week, various reputable reporters wrote that the Minnesota Timberwolves are interested in big man Clint Capela as a frontcourt partner for star double-double machine Karl-Anthony Towns.

Charania was first on the scoop this week, reporting the following for The Athletic:

The Timberwolves have discussed deals around veteran centers, including Atlanta’s Clint Capela, sources said.

The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor followed that up with the following, which he said on a podcast:

Kevin O’Connor: I’ve heard Minnesota likes Rudy Gobert. They also like Clint Capela.

However, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic put a damper on those rumors by reporting that there isn’t much traction on such a deal between the Timberwolves and Atlanta Hawks:

Sources have indicated that there has not been much headway, if any, made between the Wolves and the Hawks, who have been mentioned as perhaps the most aggressive team this summer when it comes to pursuing trades. There is interest from the Wolves in Capela but, so far, little engagement on any deal

Nevertheless, there has been a lot of smoke this week regarding Capela and another Hawks big man, so keep an eye on Atlanta as an active party on the trade market this offseason.

For the latest Clint Capela rumors, click here.

Dejounte Murray (San Antonio)

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Like every other player on this list, Dejounte Murray has been mentioned in a whole lot of trade rumors of late. But unlike his NBA counterparts, Murray actually likes to have fun with the scuttle, going as far as to comment on it on his personal Twitter account:

As you can see in the embedded tweet, the team that Murray has been tied to the most has been the Hawks, though the star point guard won’t come cheap, according to Fischer:

Jake Fischer on Dejounte Murray: The Spurs have a really high asking price for him. They’ve told multiple teams that I’ve spoken to have called them that the price is a Jrue Holiday-like deal, three first-round picks seems to be the benchmark.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, as Murray has developed into one of the best two-way point guards in the league, averaging 21.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and 9.2 assists last season to go with a league-leading 2.0 steals.

What’s more, according to Fischer, Murray and Trae Young have an interest in playing together, and what a 1-2 combo that would be for the defensively-lacking Hawks.

We’ll see if anything comes of it, but one thing is for sure, Murray won’t come cheap, so whoever does go after him will need to pay a heavy price in any such trade.

For the latest Dejounte Murray rumors, click here.

Rudy Gobert (Utah)

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Since the Utah Jazz had yet another postseason letdown, the club looks more open than ever to business, with a lot of the trade rumors surrounding star center Rudy Gobert.

According to The Athletic’s Tony Jones, Utah is open to trading the French big man:

It’s not a secret that the Jazz need to get better on the court. And there’s been plenty of talk around Rudy Gobert, Utah’s all-star center, with multiple teams remaining viable options, according to sources. The Jazz are certainly open to trading Gobert. But, they aren’t going to give him away. Gobert’s value to Utah is immense. It might dwarf his value on the open market. For those reasons, a trade package centered around Gobert is certainly possible, even as soon as Thursday. But it isn’t guaranteed.

In addition, the Chicago Bulls have been a rumored interested party in Gobert’s services, a sensical fit considering Chicago’s middling defense. However, KC Johnson reported this week that the rumors could be much ado about nothing… for now, at least:

And yet little of how Karnišovas and his staff have constructed the Bulls has been conventional. It’s why the Bulls are landing in trade rumors seemingly daily, the largest of which are centered on three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert. League sources have indicated that, at least as of this writing, the rumors are overstated.

Stein also reported that the Toronto Raptors remain interested in Gobert, though nothing is close on that front, either.

For the latest Rudy Gobert rumors, click here.

Kevin Durant (Brooklyn)

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And this is where things start getting spicy.

Although it still seems unlikely, it is no longer unfathomable to consider the possibility of Kevin Durant being traded this offseason, and it could be dependent on what happens with the No. 1 player on this ranking.

According to Logan Murdock, Durant isn’t happy with how the Brooklyn Nets have handled Kyrie Irving and his intricacies, and hasn’t spoken to the team in weeks:

Not much of Murdock’s take was optimistic if you’re a Nets fan. Indeed, he referred to the franchise’s current situation as “destruction” in the podcast and suggested perhaps more firmly than other pundits that Durant could indeed leave. “The vision is on the verge of crumbling,” he wrote. “It didn’t have to be this way,” he said, summing up. “This team … and it’s ironic. Kevin came to reconcile relationships, build relationships with his BFF’s and it’s not working out. It’s doing the exact opposite. And you juxtapose that with Golden State winning…” “Now, you have reports that Kyrie is looking elsewhere. I made some calls. Kevin Durant has not talked to the team in weeks. I don’t think Kevin is confident in the front office right now. I don’t know if he’s at the stage of leaving but there’s a big uneasiness from not only from the Kyrie side, but the KD side as well.

Players around the league have taken heed of the scuttle, too, as Damian Lillard is outright recruiting Durant on social media:

Teams are taking note, too, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, who reported that rival franchises are preparing for the possibility that Durant asks out of Brooklyn:

But whatever the case, teams are reportedly making preparations for the Nets star potentially being available in the coming days. That’s according to ESPN insider Zach Lowe on a post-NBA draft episode of his Lowe Post podcast: “I can tell you this. This is what teams are doing. Teams are already operating under, not the assumption, but ‘we need to prepare for the contingency that Kevin Durant is available via trade in six days or seven days.’ … The whole league is now.”

Things could be sorted out quickly if the Nets reach an agreement with Irving, but if the mercurial point guard does make his way out, all eyes will immediately turn to Durant and the NBA offseason could get hectic.

For the latest Kevin Durant rumors, click here.

John Collins (Atlanta)

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Although John Collins was ultimately not traded ahead of the NBA draft as some expected, it still appears his time in Atlanta is over, at least according to reports.

The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner reported as such this week following the draft:

It’s obvious that the Hawks view one of their pathways to getting better as trading Collins. Everyone expects it. “He’s done in Atlanta,” a source close to Collins said.

On top of that, Fischer reported two teams are interested or have shown interest in Collins, that being the Spurs and the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics, with the former apparently calling sources and asking around about the former Wake Forest Demon Deacon.

Where Collins ends up remains a mystery, but he appears to be one of the likeliest big-name player to be moved this offseason.

For the latest John Collins rumors, click here.

Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn)

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Finally, we come to the biggest name on the trade market in Irving, with all of the latest signs telling us that the floor general will be on the move this summer, and perhaps soon.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, things are getting acrimonious between Irving and the Nets and although he has a list of teams he’d like to be moved to, those teams aren’t interested in him for the max deal he reportedly covets:

Woj also said that while Irving has given the Nets six NBA destinations he’d prefer if there’s no agreement, there is limited interest in him at max money. The ESPN insider said the only team with any real interest is the Lakers. Still, he argued, getting Irving a contract paying more than $6.3 million — the taxpayers MLE — seems unlikely. “This is getting acrimonious,” Woj told a panel on ESPN’s NBA analysts. “and I think that’s the concern when you look at not only Kyrie’s future in Brooklyn

The Athletic’s Sam Amick reported that apparently, there is substantive chatter connecting Irving with the Los Angeles Lakers and former teammate LeBron James, although it remains unclear how financially, such a deal would work.

Charania added that the expectation now is that Irving will find a new team by opting into the final year of his contract and request a trade

To further break down the situation, our very own Yossi Gozlan recently broke down how Irving’s list of preferred destinations can attain the point guard financially via trade.

As always, expect the unexpected in the NBA, but even we couldn’t predict the Nets’ supposed super team breaking up in just three years, even with Irving in the fold.

Just goes to show the madness that is the NBA offseason.

For the latest Kyrie Irving rumors, click here.







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