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Kevin Durant got hurt on January 8th. He's due back sometime this month.

In the 20 games before KD was hurt, the Nets were 18-2 and looked like a potential juggernaut. Kyrie can't say they aren't capable of winning. Even with Durant out and a terrible start before they fired Nash, they are on pace to win 50 games.

Who does he think the Nets are going to trade him to? If he keeps his mouth shut and plays the rest of the year, he'll get the same money in the off-season as he will forcing a trade now.

He probably wants to go to LA. Are the Nets really going to take Westbrook back for him? If they do, are the Lakers going to throw in at least 2 first round picks from 2027 and 2029? There are almost no other trade destinations that work.

Plus, he's just an idiot in general.

@Tschmack posted:

Iโ€™d almost feel bad for the Nets but they have no one to blame but themselves.  Kyrie is the biggest flake in professional sports.   You add in his kooky behavior and itโ€™s just simply not worth it.

Somebody will panic and trade for him.

If the Lakers could get him for minimal assets other than Westbrook, they'd do it this second. Both are on expiring contracts. The holdup which of their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks they have to include to sweeten the deal. LeBron is probably behind the scenes pushing them to send both out. He could care less what the Lakers are like in 2030 and beyond.

The Mavs must be starting to panic on Luka. They can't find another star to pair with him. They tried Porzingis, but that fizzled out. Brunson is a second-tier guy and was a good pairing with him, but they lost Brunson for nothing. As good as Mark Cuban is as a player-friendly owner, he still may want out if they can't really compete. But who are they sending back for Irving that the Nets would even want?

I think those are the most two likely destinations if he goes.

The darkhorse is Miami. Pat Riley is always working behind the scenes in this situations. The Heat know they aren't a title team right now and they are always win now. There are some wild trades that work between these teams.

How about this one? The Nets dump Simmons and Kyrie and get back Herro (the key to any deal with the Heat), and take on Lowry, Duncan Robinson, and Oladipo. The Nets get out from both terrible deals and get a top 20 offensive player back and a great 3 point shooter (Robinson) for spacing. Oladipo is just salary filler. Lowry is expensive, but his contract is one year less than Simmons. Durant, Lowry, Herro, Claxton, Harris, Duncan Robinson, and Oladipo is not a bad rotation for the Nets.

Simmons, Adebayo, and Butler would provide elite wing defense for the Heat and Irving could create on the offensive end.

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Last edited by MichiganPacker

Kyrie goes to the Mavs for Dinwiddie, Finney-Smith, and a first round pick in 2029 (and some 2nd rounders).

The Mavs may average 140, but they may give up 150. Doncic, Irving, Christian Wood, Dwight Powell, and Tim Hardaway Jr. as a starting five.

Luka and Kyrie could be spectacularly bad as a pairing in the long-run, but the media will salivate over this for the next couple of months. Not sure there are enough possessions to satisfy both their egos.

I mean, itโ€™s all hilarious

Cuban is brilliant but he hired Jason Kidd as HC.  Now he trades for arguably the most enigmatic player in NBA history?  Why

The Mavs need rebounding and defense not another scorer that doesnโ€™t play any D.

Durant is the player version of Cuban.  Had he stayed with Golden State they likely win another ring or two.   Now you will be known as the guy that recruited Kyrie to Brooklyn only to burn it all down?

And yes, I do love that LeBron didnโ€™t get his way.  He needs to own that Westbrook bullshit.

@Goalline posted:

If they have Durant and Tatum just hand them the title today.

If they could get Durant without giving up Jaylen Brown, yes.

The Bucks are the only team that is going to scare them in the East either way. You have to have elite individual defensive players. Holiday is as good as it gets. Matthews can give you 15 minutes of tough defense. Giannis is obviously elite. Middleton is no pushover.

The Celtics still have to guard Giannis. And if Middleton is healthy, it's not as easy to say you are going to let the Bucks other players beat you. In the games the Bucks lost in last year's playoff series they went 3-18, 9-27, 7-29, and 4-33 from three. The Bucks aren't going 23 for 107 if Middleton is taking 30 of those 107 shots instead.

How much better is Durant than Brown right now? Obviously, KD is a better player, but it's not like Brown is dogshit. KD is a first-ballot HOFer, top 15 player all time. But Brown is on a HOF trajectory as well.

If I'm the Nets I make the trade. You get a 25 year old guy who is averaging 27 a night right now for a 34 year old guy with knee and Achilles problems. You'

If you are the Celtics, you make the trade because it's Kevin Freaking Durant. But you are throwing away another 5-6 years of Tatum/Brown in their primes together to get 1-2 years of KD? I'd understand if you were a middle of the pack team, but the Celtics are good enough to win it all without blowing up their future.

Brown for Durant straight up doesn't work. The Celtics have to throw in another 8-10 million in salary. Durant for Brown, Grant Williams (who the Celtics don't want to extend anyway), and throwing in Gallinari works.

If the Celtics have to give up Brown and one of their key bigs like Grant Williams Iโ€™m not sure thatโ€™s a good move for Boston.  

Combined, those two are giving you almost 40PPG and Williams is shooting 40%+ from 3.  Both guys are also sturdy defenders.  So while Durant may give you the offensive trade off, collectively their defense gets worse.   Williams also gives you another big to throw at Giannis.  You trade him, and it will force them to play Horford a lot more minutes and thatโ€™s not a good proposition.

Besides, if the goal is beating Milwaukee then you have to get there defensively and you need big men that can give away a lot of fouls and slow down Giannis.  What makes Boston so challenging is they have several bigs and Grant Williams is important because unlike Robert Williams GW can hit shots so the Bucks canโ€™t just leave him alone.  

The other thing is the Bucks are the rare team that has plenty of + level defenders and rebounders.   Allen is probably the only guy that doesnโ€™t give you at least average to above average D.

Last edited by Tschmack

If they could get Durant without giving up Jaylen Brown, yes.

The Bucks are the only team that is going to scare them in the East either way. You have to have elite individual defensive players. Holiday is as good as it gets. Matthews can give you 15 minutes of tough defense. Giannis is obviously elite. Middleton is no pushover.

The Celtics still have to guard Giannis. And if Middleton is healthy, it's not as easy to say you are going to let the Bucks other players beat you. In the games the Bucks lost in last year's playoff series they went 3-18, 9-27, 7-29, and 4-33 from three. The Bucks aren't going 23 for 107 if Middleton is taking 30 of those 107 shots instead.

How much better is Durant than Brown right now? Obviously, KD is a better player, but it's not like Brown is dogshit. KD is a first-ballot HOFer, top 15 player all time. But Brown is on a HOF trajectory as well.

If I'm the Nets I make the trade. You get a 25 year old guy who is averaging 27 a night right now for a 34 year old guy with knee and Achilles problems. You'

If you are the Celtics, you make the trade because it's Kevin Freaking Durant. But you are throwing away another 5-6 years of Tatum/Brown in their primes together to get 1-2 years of KD? I'd understand if you were a middle of the pack team, but the Celtics are good enough to win it all without blowing up their future.

Brown for Durant straight up doesn't work. The Celtics have to throw in another 8-10 million in salary. Durant for Brown, Grant Williams (who the Celtics don't want to extend anyway), and throwing in Gallinari works.

KD is enough better and enough different from the other Celtics players to give them a real edge.

If you knew Durant could stay 100% healthy a combo of Tatum and KD with that supporting cast would be pretty formidable.   However,  you reduce the long term viability of that squad because realistically itโ€™s a 2 year window v 4 years (or more) with Tatum and Brown.  

If it results in a championship then itโ€™s worth it but Milwaukee will be in the mix this year and next for sure.   Iโ€™m not sure the current Boston team as assembled canโ€™t do the same thing, especially if Brown and Tatum play at a high level.  

@Tschmack posted:

If you knew Durant could stay 100% healthy a combo of Tatum and KD with that supporting cast would be pretty formidable.   However,  you reduce the long term viability of that squad because realistically itโ€™s a 2 year window v 4 years (or more) with Tatum and Brown.  

If it results in a championship then itโ€™s worth it but Milwaukee will be in the mix this year and next for sure.   Iโ€™m not sure the current Boston team as assembled canโ€™t do the same thing, especially if Brown and Tatum play at a high level.  

The Bucks scare the Celtics more than any other team in the East.

In the 7 games, last year Giannis just ran out of gas in Game 7 and struggled. He had his worst game of the series and still went for 25-20-9. He had 9 assists despite the fact the Bucks went 3 for 29 from three. Many of those were open shots created by Giannis. If they hit 25% for the game, it looks a lot different.

So, Giannis averaged 34/15/7 with no Middleton. The Bucks four main shooters in that game were all well below their 3 point career percentages. Holiday is 37% for his career and shot 30%. Portis is a 38% career guy and shot 23%. Lopez shot 8% and is a career 34% guy. Allen was at 21% and is a career 40% guy.

The Celtics 3 complementary guys all hit their 3s at the normal career percentages (Horford and Grant Williams) or above their average (Smart was at 39% in the series vs. 33% career).

In other words, other than Giannis everything went wrong for the Bucks on offense and they were without their second best player.  Everything went right for the Celtics on offense and they still needed 7 games.

I think that's what is driving the Celtics exploring the trade route for KD. They aren't really sure that they can beat the Bucks if they are at full strength. Right now, it's the same matchup as last year with each team adding one extra guy. The Celtics have added Brogdon and the Bucks at Middleton. That's a huge advantage for the Bucks.

Of course, if Giannis starts knocking down mid-range shots at even an average rate, no one is beating the Bucks. But I'm not holding my breath on that one.

I would watch for Toronto.  Lots of rumors about Van Vleet and Siakam and OG Anunoby possibly being on the move.  All three of those guys are under contract for one more year albeit Van Vleet has a player option after this year and OG has 2 years left including a player option in 2024/2025.  

Van Vleet would be the perfect compliment for a team thatโ€™s looking for a shooter and his salary is reasonable but thereโ€™s risk as he could choose to not exercise his option after this year.