Trade rumor rankings: Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and more

To the surprise of no one, this week’s edition of our trade rumor rankings series centers around the Brooklyn Nets, who have been a whirlwind of nonstop drama for the past 18 months – with no sign of things slowing down for them anytime soon.

And yet, the Nets are coming off of a win without Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons and behind the brilliance of former league MVP Kevin Durant.

Regardless, today, we’ll take a look at the five players who have appeared most often on our Trade page over the past week.

To find out the latest, just scroll down below.

Jakob Poeltl (San Antonio)

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One of the most underrated players in the league today, Jakob Poeltl has been as steady as a rock down low for the San Antonio Spurs, averaging 12.1 points and 10.3 rebounds nightly so far.

Naturally, that has led to speculation on his future, as the Spurs’ rebuild-focused timeline doesn’t match the 27-year-old’s. Also hindering his future with San Antonio is the fact he’s on the last year of his deal, and his play has outpaced the amount of money the Spurs can offer him on an extension.

According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst:

The Spurs have a couple of very obvious trade candidates. One of them is Doug McDermott… The other is Jakob Poeltl. He’s in the final year of his contract, from what I am told the Spurs discussed the contract extension with him but he’s limited by how much he can sign for. It’s the same reason that they traded Dejounte Murray. They did such a good job on the contract that it almost works against you because when you want to sign a player, the player wants more than you can give him because you’re limited on how much of a raise you can give in an extension.

As long as Poeltl’s play remains at this level, look for the speculation on his future to continue, especially as we get nearer the trade deadline.

For the latest Jakob Poeltl rumors, click here.

Draymond Green (Golden State)

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All eyes will be on the Golden State Warriors not just this season, but in the offseason to come, as well, as the team is set to have an astronomical, record-breaking luxury tax bill and has Draymond Green potentially set to be owed a new contract if he is to return past 2022-23 – that is, if he chooses to opt out of the final year of his deal.

Many wondered if Green would really do that, but it’s starting to look likelier, especially with how the former Defensive Player of the Year has played thus far this year.

On the other hand, he did punch a teammate at practice, so there’s that, too.

Still, ESPN’s Zach Lowe has said that the Warriors have not – and don’t plan to – talk to teams about trading Green right now:

It sparked rumors: Would the Warriors trade Green? (The Warriors have not engaged in any trade talks centered on Green, and don’t plan to as of now, sources said.) It reignited old debates: Was Green ever really a star in his own right, or was he the beneficiary of playing alongside the two greatest shooters ever — two all-time greats whose penchant for expert off-ball movement enabled Green to thrive as point-forward?

But rather than wait for Green to potentially opt into the final year of his deal and cost the franchise a ton of money in luxury taxes, might Golden State soften its stance on that?

At the same time, it’s not like any of the Warriors’ young bench pieces have covered themselves in glory thus far in the league year and looked like they are ready to take Green’s spot in the starting 5.

Tricky situation here, and one to keep an eye on.

For the latest Draymond Green rumors, click here.

Myles Turner (Indiana)

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On a recent of the HoopsHype podcast with our own Michael Scotto, Indiana Pacers beat writer Scott Agness said something that shouldn’t surprise anyone – big man Myles Turner is likely to end the season somewhere else:

(Buddy) has another year under contract, so you don’t have to be in an immediate hurry to trade him. However, what you have is a logjam in the backcourt with Haliburton, Mathurin, Chris Duarte, and Andrew Nembhard. Hield turns 30 next month. It’s, like Myles, more likely than not, he finishes the season elsewhere. The Lakers are the most obvious destination.

With so many talented young players that the Pacers need extended looks at and Turner annually mentioned in trade scuttle, this probably will be the year the former Texas standout finally gets dealt.

Turner made some waves of his own this week, going on a podcast with Adrian Wojnarowski and making a sort of pitch as to why the Los Angeles Lakers should trade for him:

As the Lakers started the season 0-5 before finally getting their first win Sunday night against the Denver Nuggets, speculation over a potential trade for Turner and Hield has grown even more intense. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski had Turner on his podcast on Monday and straight up asked him if the Lakers should trade two first round picks to acquire himself and Hield. “If I’m the Lakers, I take a very hard look at this with the position that you’re in,” Turner said. “I know what I can provide for a team.” Listen to Turner’s answer below, and check out the full episode of The Woj Pod here.

That’s media in 2022 for you.

Either way, the Pacers are only going to make a deal if it benefits them, even with Turner trying to sell him off to franchises with bigger brands.

We’ll see what happens with regard to Turner’s future over the weeks and months to come.

For the latest Myles Turner rumors, click here.

Kevin Durant (Brooklyn)

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Now to the most dramatic story in the NBA over the past months, that of the Nets.

With things falling apart this quickly – head coach Steve Nash fired, Ime Udoka set to be hired (or not?) to replace him, Kyrie Irving suspended indefinitely and the team 3-6 – it would almost be hard to blame for Kevin Durant to revisit requesting a trade.

Even so, according to Wojnarowski, that’s not in Durant’s plans right now, though he did mention that it’s a possibility that changes in the future:

The good news for the Nets is that it sounds like they still have time on the KD front. According to Woj, Durant won’t be demanding a trade in the immediate future. Perhaps he’s willing to give Brooklyn a chance to try and fix this entire situation. Then again, Durant’s patience is anything but unlimited. He’s abandoned ship before, and it wouldn’t be a complete shock if he does it again. […] “How long does Kevin Durant hang in there with the losing, with the instability right now? … You can imagine a scenario where Kevin Durant perhaps revisits his request from the summer at some point. Although, I don’t believe that’s a consideration right now for him.

Even so, per Lowe, teams are gearing up for the possibility anyway, as Durant would immediately be the best player on the trade block if things go that way… again:

I don’t think this is going to be fast. I don’t know that it will ever really happen. But I know that the whole league is ready now to reengage on Durant.

We’ll see where this story goes but one thing is for sure: The Brooklyn drama is far from over.

For the latest Kevin Durant rumors, click here.

Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn)

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Without question, Kyrie Irving has become one of the league’s biggest loose cannons in recent memory, stubbornly standing by the sometimes-offensive beliefs he either spreads or holds and refusing to back down, even when presented with evidence contrary to his opinion.

And that has really hurt his future prospects in the NBA, with Irving currently in the final year of his contract. If Irving doesn’t change his ways, it’s certainly not out of the question to believe the future of his playing career is in jeopardy – after all, what team is going to put up with this level of audacity, with new drama surrounding Irving coming out almost quarterly?

Even the talent-hungry Los Angeles Lakers, desperate to add top talent around LeBron James late in his prime, were against extending Irving when trade talks were hot between L.A. and Brooklyn, according to Wojnarowski:

In the same vein, there are a number of reasons that didn’t work out either, but one of those may have been the Lakers reluctance to commit to Irving long-term, which Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported on Sportscenter (emphasis mine). “I think it speaks to what happened last summer when Brooklyn was resistant to giving Kyrie Irving a long-term guaranteed contract. So were the Lakers in a sign-and-trade scenario with Brooklyn. I think for Kyrie Irving, these were the questions that put him in this situation where he was in the final year of his deal. I don’t think there’s anything that’s happened so far this season on or especially off the court that’s going to give anybody more comfort with committing to Kyrie Irving on a long-term contract that leaves an organization without the flexibility to move out from under it.”

Other ESPN reporters have speculated that Irving’s time with Brooklyn might even be over as is:

The question is: What team in its right mind would even take him at this point?

This situation is ugly and how it ends is anyone’s guess.

We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

For the latest Kyrie Irving rumors, click here.

Story originally appeared on HoopsHype