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With Kevin Durant now remaining with the Brooklyn Nets, here are the five most likely players to be traded.
On the very first day of NBA free agency, Kevin Durant shocked the world by requesting a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. Even with all of the reported list of preferred destinations for Durant and discussions between the Nets and various teams, nothing transpired. After over a month, there is finally some clarity.
The Nets released a statement on Aug. 23, announcing that the team and Durant are “moving forward” with their partnership heading into the 2022-23 season. So, after all of the drama, Durant is staying in Brooklyn.
Now with Durant off the trading block, the focus can now be on some other names that could be moved at some point in the upcoming year. Here are five of the most likely players to be traded.
NBA Trade Rumors: 5 players next to be traded after Kevin Durant sticks with Nets
5. Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers
One of the players who has been discussed in a variety of trade rumors is Russell Westbrook. Brought in last year to build a super team alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Westbrook struggled with the Los Angeles Lakers. At one point, Westbrook was even benched as a result of his play. Ultimately, the Lakers finished the year 11th place in the Western Conference, and head coach Frank Vogel was let go.
This offseason, the Lakers hired former Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham to be their new head coach. Yet, Westbrook’s status as a starter is far from a lock, as The Athletic’s Jovan Buha reports (subscription required), Ham “will have more power to bench Westbrook down the stretch of games,” and even remove him from the starting lineup.
Westbrook has been linked to trades this offseason, most notably with the Nets for Kyrie Irving. It is not a guarantee that a deal to Brooklyn could happen. But, if things do not improve in Los Angeles, one has to imagine that the Lakers will find a way to trade Westbrook elsewhere and try to get a valuable asset in return.