Trade rumor rankings: Kevin Durant, Donovan Mitchell and more

nba trades rumors rankings 2022 kyrie irving donovan mitchell kevin durant Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Trade rumor rankings: Kevin Durant, Donovan Mitchell and more

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Trade rumor rankings: Kevin Durant, Donovan Mitchell and more

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The NBA trade market has been at a near-total standstill for weeks now but even despite that, there is plenty of scuttles for us to discuss.

That’s because the Brooklyn Nets still have two superstars who might get dealt while the Utah Jazz play hardball with their own star 2-guard, who hasn’t asked out but who could get traded anyway as the team appears headed to a rebuild.

Below, check out the 10 players who have appeared most often in trade rumors over the past week.

10
Cam Johnson (Phoenix)

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The aforementioned Nets and their star who wants out, Kevin Durant, have been connected to the Phoenix Suns dating back to Durant’s original trade request, as the former league MVP listed Phoenix as one of his preferred destinations.

And a player who has been discussed in those rumors has been sharpshooter Cam Johnson, who is not only productive but he’s also still on his rookie contract, making him a very valuable piece. Johnson averaged 12.5 points and 4.1 rebounds while shooting an elite mark from three at 42.5 percent.

On his end, Johnson has heard the rumors and discussed them this week:

With a Durant-to-Phoenix trade looking somewhat unlikely, we’ll see if the Suns have to do damage control with the North Carolina product, but it seems like Johnson is handling the noise in a professional manner.

For the latest Cam Johnson trade rumors, click here.

9
Coby White (Chicago)

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It’s been an up-and-down time for Coby White since getting drafted by the Chicago Bulls as the No. 7 pick in the 2019 draft, one that has led to a lot of speculation about his future with the club. That noise only got louder when the team went out and signed Goran Dragic this offseason, too.

But local Chicago beat writers expect White to stay put, at least until next season’s trade deadline, with the former North Carolina Tar Heel expected to provide the Bulls with solid backcourt depth off the bench (via the Chicago Sun-Times):

Coby White has been on the trade block for the last year, but Karnisovas & Co. did not like the offers and weren’t just looking to give him away. But they also have no intention of extending him this fall when White’s rookie deal starts winding down. Instead, the Bulls seem poised to keep White for depth purposes, revisit his trade value at the deadline if the backcourt is healthy, and if he is a Bull come next summer, simply let the market set a price on him and decide if the restricted free agent would be worth matching.

Despite a disappointing 2021-22, White did shoot a career-high 38.5 percent from three, a number that could help open up driving lanes for him going forward, who, despite his flaws, does still boast elite quickness.

For the latest Coby White trade rumors, click here.

8
Buddy Hield (Indiana)

AP Photo/Darron Cummings

There isn’t much new to report on the Buddy Hield trade front, with the Los Angeles Lakers at the forefront of rumors surrounding the outside marksman.

However, one league executive who spoke to Bleacher Report did state that if he were calling the shots in L.A., he’d rather go for Hield than Kyrie Irving, who remains the Lakers’ top target:

Should the Lakers really be giving out unprotected or lightly protected first-round picks in 2027 and 2029, years after the contracts of LeBron James and Anthony Davis expire? Is Irving—the most talented of the names mentioned—reliable enough for L.A. to rely on? “The Lakers are pot-committed,” the analyst continued, referencing a poker situation where a player lacks leverage after making aggressive early bets. “I’d do those two picks for Buddy and Turner. I like that more than Kyrie. That dude flat-out frightens me. But I’d take him over the pie-in-the-sky-let-Russ-cook option.”

There’s more in that article regarding Hield and what the Lakers should do this offseason for those interested.

For the latest Buddy Hield trade rumors, click here.

7
RJ Barrett (New York)

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The Jazz and New York Knicks have reportedly been talking for weeks now on a trade surrounding Donovan Mitchell, with RJ Barrett’s name coming up in the scuttle, too.

According to a New York beat writer, the Jazz – despite previous reports to the contrary – have shown interest in the young Canadian swingman (via SportsNet New York):

There’s been some conflicting reports on the Utah Jazz and RJ Barrett amid the Knicks’ pursuit of Donovan Mitchell. While some reports state that the Jazz have had no in interest in Barrett, I don’t believe that is the case. Earlier this month – before reports emerged that Utah was willing to listen on Mitchell trade offers – the Jazz asked the Knicks about a package that included Mitchell Robinson, Barrett, other players, and at least three first-round picks. Around that time, members of the Jazz were also making educated guesses/projections on what an extension for Barrett may look like, per sources.

According to that same report, Utah also ranked Barrett among the best potential players the Jazz could land in a Mitchell trade.

Barrett is coming off a career season, one that saw him average 20.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists – doing so as a 21-year-old. The issue with his trade value is the fact he could be signed to a max rookie-scale contract extension this offseason, something the Jazz may be hesitant to hand out, especially if they truly do plan to fully rebuild.

We’ll have to wait and see how this one plays out.

For the latest RJ Barrett trade rumors, click here.

6
Jaylen Brown (Boston)

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After watching him help lead the Boston Celtics all the way to the NBA Finals and to within two games of a championship, one would have expected the seemingly annual trade rumors surrounding Jaylen Brown to at least take a break.

That has not been the case, with Brown’s name coming up in reported Durant trade talks a couple of weeks ago, which sent NBA social media channels into a frenzy.

Although a trade didn’t come to fruition – not to this point, at least – the question now is: Will Brown let that scuttle affect his want to remain with the Celtics?

According to Bleacher Report, people around the NBA are pondering that same question:

And Boston just swept the Durant-led Nets in the first round of the playoffs. Brown came away from that series—and the rest of the playoffs—looking like a true star. “Jaylen won’t let this affect his play, but he won’t forget this, either,” one Eastern Conference scout said. “The kind of season he had, the team had…I know this is a business and he knows it’s a business, but hearing your name in trade rumors, even if it’s Kevin Durant in the deal, can’t feel good considering how he played against KD and how the Celtics did against the Nets.”

A coach from the Western Conference shared a similar question in that same article:

Another league executive said he can understand why Brown seeing his name brought up in trade rumors this time around—even for a player like Durant—is a different kind of feeling than previous times he was mentioned as being on the trade block. “When you give your blood, sweat and tears, as I know he has to that team, and you don’t feel you’re getting that same love back, it’ll definitely make you look different or look twice at your front office and how they do things,” said a Western Conference coach.

Brown has proven to be a consummate professional during his time in the NBA, often willing to put his body on the line to make winning plays despite his star status.

We don’t expect that to change next season, despite the trade rumors popping up about him this summer.

For the latest Jaylen Brown trade rumors, click here.

5
Russell Westbrook (LA Lakers)

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The big news on the Russell Westbrook trade front this week wasn’t that newsworthy, though it was still important, as it was reported the triple-double machine had finally picked a new agent:

In addition, an article from Bleacher Report stated that a league insider believes the Lakers should ship Westbrook to the Nets to nab Irving and Durant from Brooklyn:

An NBA insider had a different (and broader) take on Kyrie Irving and the Nets. “Kyrie is the move. They should offer Anthony Davis with Russell Westbrook. Try and get Kevin Durant. KD for AD and a pick is as close as [the Nets] will get to what they want.”

Was that league insider wearing a Lakers jersey while sharing that idea? Probably, but it’s highly unlikely a deal like that comes to fruition.

Nevertheless, it was also reported this week that first-year head coach Darvin Ham will have more power than Frank Vogel had to bench Westbrook if need be (via The Athletic):

Lakers head coach Darvin Ham will have more power to bench Westbrook down the stretch of games, according to league sources. (Former head coach Frank Vogel did so a few times last season). That could eventually extend to removing Westbrook from the starting lineup as well.

If we had to guess, we don’t think Westbrook, a prideful player, loved to read that.

Nevertheless, with just one season left on his monster contract, we’ll see if Los Angeles is able to ship its poorly-fitting star point guard.

For the latest Russell Westbrook trade rumors, click here.

4
Myles Turner (Indiana)

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Another player who seemingly finds himself in trade rumors annually, Myles Turner, has seen his name pop up in scuttle yet again this offseason, with the smoke getting even thicker considering Indiana appears interested in flipping its roster to make it younger.

And no matter how professional a player is, seeing your name trade rumors for this long has to have an adverse effect on your psyche as a player.

This week, Turner opened up on the trade talk to Marc Spears of Andscape:

For me personally, with all this, the wildness that goes on with the season and offseason trade talk, I wanted to put all that behind me. Get off social media for a bit. Turn my phone off and not talk to anybody in the Western world. I was able just to be completely in the present and completely in the moment. And that was the most rewarding part for me. This is my fifth offseason with trade rumors going on. ‘He’s going to land here; he’s going to do this. He going to do that.’ I am finally numb to it, in a sense. So that’s another thing that I was proud of myself for as well. I was able to immerse myself in the experience of Africa as opposed to my own personal life or my own selfish reasons.

Turner may have plateaued as a player, but he’s still an elite shot-blocker (2.8 rejections nightly last season) who can space the floor from three, a valuable archetype in the modern NBA. With this being the last year on his current contract, Turner’s does hold some value as a trade chip.

We’ll see if this is the year the Turner rumors lead anywhere.

For the latest Myles Turner trade rumors, click here.

3
Donovan Mitchell (Utah)

Donovan Mitchell reacting during a game

Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

This week, a stir was created online after Donovan Mitchell went to Miami and teamed up with Bam Adebayo to play in the Miami Pro League, where he was serenaded by Heat fans trying to recruit him to the South Floridian franchise.

Adebayo talked about the interesting moment afterward, telling the collected media:

Adebayo has also spent time playing in the Miami Pro League, teaming up with his friend, Donovan Mitchell. Fans who attended chanted “Miami” at Mitchell to try to show how much they want the Utah Jazz guard to join the Heat. “It’s just fun, it’s for Miami, it’s for the community,” Adebayo said. “And then to have one of my best friends, Donovan, come join us. It was a dope experience.”

There was also a report this week out of Utah that stated Mitchell is expected to leave the Jazz when he gets his first chance, likely to head home to play for the Knicks:

Well, let’s start with this: the overwhelming feeling among league insiders is that Mitchell is likely to sign outside of Utah at the first available opportunity in 2025. Mitchell considers New York home. Mitchell has spent the majority of this offseason in New York this year. His skills trainer, Chris Brickley, operates out of a gym in the city. It makes sense that he’d be interested in living there full time.

The report also mentioned Miami as a potential landing spot while mentioning that Mitchell would like to play in a bigger market.

Will that happen sooner rather than later, via trade this offseason?

We don’t have much time left to find out.

For the latest Donovan Mitchell trade rumors, click here.

2
Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn)

nba trade rumors rankings kyrie irving kevin durant lakers

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Despite all of the smoke to the contrary, it appears Irving is actually hopeful of sticking it out in Brooklyn and even has it in mind to play with the Nets in 2022-23 with or without Durant.

That’s according to Shams Charania, who said as much five days ago:

“Kyrie Irving opted in with the full intent of playing out next season as a Brooklyn Net,” Charania said on the Pat McAfee Show. “In his mind, he’s playing next year in Brooklyn with or without Kevin Durant.”

There wasn’t much else of substance on this front over the past week, with most of the reporting being of the speculative variety.

All in all, the Nets are clearly hoping Durant changes his mind on his trade request, which might not be a bad idea considering how loaded Brooklyn projects to be in 2022-23.

If you’re Durant, why not run it back one more year and then, if things go south again, try again next year to get traded?

For the latest Kyrie Irving trade rumors, click here.

1
Kevin Durant (Brooklyn)

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This week, NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, ripped into Durant for this whole saga that has dominated the NBA news cycle of the summer, stating that he believes Durant is looking for the easy way out.

As far as how things are going with Durant’s trade request, a report this week said that apparently, Durant is meeting with Nets owner Joe Tsai

Much of the NBA is settling in for a long wait on hold before the Kevin Durant situation is resolved. But one league executive believes there could soon be a chance for clarity at least. “What I’m hearing is that KD is going to meet with the owner this week,” the source told Heavy Sports. “He’s going to go directly to the owner, Joe Tsai, sometime this week. We’ll see how that works.”

However, if that meeting is to rescind his trade request or to help push it further along remains unknown:

Whether the intent of the meeting is to smooth over a relationship that suffered at least a hairline fracture when Durant, with four years left on his contract, asked to be traded is uncertain. “I don’t know,” said the exec. “I have no idea what’s going to come of that meeting. There are some things that KD is unhappy about, and I’m not sure any of that gets fixed here. But maybe it does.”

As we just mentioned, Durant’s best bet to chase a ring in 2022-23 really might be to just stick it out in Brooklyn, as the Nets did a great job of filling out the roster around him and Irving over the offseason.

We’ll see if common sense prevails here.

For the latest Kevin Durant trade rumors, click here.

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