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Sunday, August 14, 2022

Trade Rumors: Durant, Mitchell, Irving, Westbrook, Conley

With the 2022 Las Vegas Summer League in the books and training camps not scheduled to open for more than two months, many NBA executives are preparing to take vacations, which may delay resolution for the league’s top trade candidates, including Nets star Kevin Durant.

“From what I understand, the trade talks involving Kevin Durant have slowed to a trickle,” Brian Windhorst said on Wednesday during an appearance on ESPN’s Get Up (video link via Talkin’ NBA). “You can still get some Nets folks on the phone if you want to make an offer, but they are not aggressively, I am told, making outgoing calls.

“The league is about to go on their first significant vacations in two years. People are scattering to Europe and the national parks, and Kevin Durant is still a Net. I don’t think that’s going to change in the short-term future.”

As Windhorst alludes to, the 2020 and 2021 offseasons were compressed due to changes to the NBA calendar caused by COVID-19. This is the first full, normal offseason for the league since 2019.

Not everyone will be on vacation for the next two months, so it’s certainly possible that trade discussions will pick up in August or early September — or even later this month. Still, the break in the NBA calendar figures to slow down momentum toward any major deals. That applies to the Jazz‘s Donovan Mitchell talks as well, Windhorst said.

“The Donovan Mitchell situation is really headed towards a stalemate,” Windhorst said on Get Up (video link via Talkin’ NBA). “The sticker shock is out there for the price that the Jazz are asking, and the Jazz are like, ‘Look, we are in no rush. We’re going to sit back and wait for you to meet it.’ The teams are like, ‘We’re not going to increase our (offers).’ And Donovan Mitchell is not pushing it, so I hope everybody enjoys their summer.”

Here are a few more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • Windhorst suggested during Wednesday’s episode of Get Up (video link) that he doesn’t view a Kyrie Irving/Russell Westbrook trade between the Nets and Lakers as especially likely at this point: “It’s been discussed weeks ago and hasn’t advanced.”
  • Windhorst also said the motivation for Durant’s trade request out of Brooklyn remains somewhat vague, which may be one reason why no real progress has been made toward a resolution. “He spoke to the owner, Joe Tsai, and gave a reason (why he wanted to be traded), but I’m not sure the Nets are 100% on the understanding of it,” Windhorst said. “I think the next step in this – barring a team’s change of heart to meet the Nets’ price, which I don’t see at this point on the calendar – I think we’re going to have to wait to hear from Kevin Durant about how open he is to running it back with the Nets. Here we go, as everybody breaks for summer, sitting and waiting for that to happen.”
  • Appearing on a Spotify Live session with Marc Stein, Tony Jones of The Athletic confirmed that the Jazz have had trade discussions with teams this offseason about point guard Mike Conley, but admitted that he’s not sure there’s much of a market out there for Conley at this point (hat tip to HoopsHype). Conley has a $22.68MM cap hit in 2022/23, with a partial guarantee ($14.32MM) on his $24.36MM salary for ’23/24.

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